Gianluigi Buffon warns Italy must not “think like losers” by focusing on a potential Spain-Croatia stitch-up and blasted the media for focusing on the wrong issues.
The Azzurri have to beat Ireland on Monday evening and hope the other Group C result goes their way to qualify, but will be out regardless if Spain-Croatia ends 2-2. 
In Italian slang the term for a stitch-up is ‘biscotto’ – which literally means biscuit.
In order to silence the controversy around this and other debates, the goalkeeper decided to write what could be interpreted as a poem.
“Consideration of the day: mamma mia, sic transit gloria mundi...” wrote Buffon on his Facebook page.
“For two days people have exclusively been talking about a biscotto. A biscotto here, a biscotto there, a biscotto up, a biscotto down... it’s as if we’d already beaten Ireland,
“As if others didn’t have the sacrosanct right to feel offended by such insinuations,
“As if the others didn’t have the privilege to think Giovanni Trapattoni could consider doing us a favour (which he absolutely won’t),
“As if we owned the culture of suspicion and were the only ones who could use it,
“As if drawing a match is the same as getting a 2-2 result,
“As if settling for a result (that satisfies both teams) in the last 20 minutes is the same as fixing a game,
“As if the others were always the guilty parties,
“As if the responsibility was never on our shoulders,
“As if finding themselves in a favourable situation was never down to hard work, but simply good fortune,
“As if admitting our opponents were better is an unacceptable blow to our ego,
“As if in order to hide our insecurity and fragility we always need an alibi,
“As if knowing there are two homosexuals in the squad was the only thing the entire nation was interested in,
“As if at the end of these days in which we chased scapegoats we discovered they are better than us elsewhere...
“As if these thoughts were of any use to anyone...
“Let us focus on ourselves and try to win the match. The rest is hot air, bar talk, the conjecture of mediocrity and thinking like losers...”
Think you know your Italian football? Share your knowledge, tips and comments to win cash prizes in OLBG's World Cup tipster competition  - £10,000 to be won!