Francesco Toldo has praised Salvatore Sirigu for showing no fear and doing the right thing in deputising for Gigi Buffon in the Italy goal.
Buffon sprained an ankle on the eve of the Azzurri’s opening World Cup fixture with England, opening the door for the Paris Saint-Germain man to start the Group D clash.
For a former international who competed with Buffon regularly for a starting berth for the Azzurri, Sirigu’s reaction this week was spot on.
“I saw a little of myself with Sirigu, even if the two situations are different,” began Toldo in conversation with the Gazzetta dello Sport.
“The one between me and Buffon was a real competition, whilst the hierarchies now are much clearer.
“But when they showed Gigi waving from the bench, that was to encourage everyone, not just the one who had the task of replacing him.
“I understood because Sirigu went into the field without fear. I saw in his eyes the safety of someone who was prepared at the time.
“He did the right thing immediately - he began with energy and made a save to give courage right away and, at that point, assurance was given with his teammates, which for a goalkeeper is the thing that matters most.
“It was predictable if not so obvious that he has responded. Sirigu has played in the Champions League, so he knows how to handle a certain kind of pressure.
“But, a World Cup is something else - every shot burns, half a mistake and you are cooked: he is not yet halfway there.”