Gianluigi Buffon admits that to defeat Germany in Thursday’s semi-final will require a perfect performance from Italy.
The Azzurri face Joachin Low’s outfit with an historical advantage, having never lost in a competitive match to the Germans from seven previous attempts.
However, to make that eight tonight, against one the tournament’s top goalscorers, captain Buffon admits it will take something special from his teammates.
“We know you want revenge, and that you’re damn strong. A great team,” he told German publication Bild on Thursday.
“We cannot afford any mistakes and as always we will need a little luck.
“Traditions and statistics are made just to be overturned. Of course, I hope that things remain the same and that we are again happy.
“[The 2006 World Cup semi-final win over Germany] was incredibly satisfying. At that time we beat an opponent in a spectacular setting, we were then able to go to Berlin and became world champions.
“The game is a classic between to great teams and will belong to the most beautiful memories of my career.”
Buffon was asked of his opponent in the Germany goal, Manuel Neuer, and if the youngster had the potential to become one of the game’s greats between the sticks.
“I do not know. Everyone has their story. But, he is certainly very strong. The proof is that he is the No 1 for Bayern and for Germany.”