Tuesday January 25 2011
'Cassano and Balotelli are Italy's future'

Gigi Buffon feels a strike partnership composed of Antonio Cassano and Mario Balotelli is the future of the Italian national team.

Italy boss Cesare Prandelli has often expressed his desire to line up the two together, although injuries and suspensions have hampered any real progress on that front.

Speaking to Sky Italia, Buffon said: "They have quality that is above the average and can help Italy make the necessary jump in class.

"Us older players hope that they finally get their deserved consecration in Azzurro and that they carry us to triumph in a big competition."

Reflecting on his own future on the international stage, Buffon said: "If Prandelli call me, I will stand up and be counted, but always with respect for the position because no one owes me anything, not even the national Coach, nor the Coach of Juve and it's right this way.

"We are in an experimental phase."

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