Thursday March 22 2018
Buffon: 'I'm of use to Italy'

Gigi Buffon reveals he only accepted the Italy call because “I’d be useful to the team. A testimonial would not have interested me.”

The Nazionale take on Argentina in Manchester tomorrow evening, then England at Wembley on Tuesday in friendlies under Interim Coach Gigi Di Biagio.

Many expected Buffon’s final Azzurri appearance to be his tears in November’s failed World Cup play-off with Sweden, but he has been called up for these games.

Is it true that he could try to stay on until Euro 2020?

“I think everyone has figured out the situation and know the role I played,” said Buffon in his Press conference.

“I am welcoming, positive and think I have been very altruistic in my career, giving up on personal records for the good of the team.

“Once it was made clear that this would not be just a testimonial, because that would not have interested me, and that I’d be useful to the team… I came here with great enthusiasm.

“I may be 40 years old, but I am still the number one goalkeeper at Juventus.

“I don’t know if the last match of my career will be for Italy or Juventus. I do know it’ll be a calm and sober occasion. I entered into football on a Vespa, I’ll leave it with only a company car.”

Was SuperGigi surprised at the controversy that erupted over his continuing Italy career?

“I already knew this was an odd country,” he smiled in reference to Fabio Capello’s comments.

“Creating this sort of storm after 25 years in the Nazionale jersey, with alternate fortunes, and my contribution to the trophy cabinet, seems sensational to me.

“I am convinced, being an indulgent person, that in a few weeks those who wrote some things out of turn will end up writing something completely different.”

Juventus teammate Gonzalo Higuain is expected to start tomorrow, but Argentina Coach Jorge Sampaoli hinted Paulo Dybala could be dropped for the World Cup.

“I am very happy that he said that and hope Paulo hears it, because I know how champions react during moments of difficulty. There can be no greater motivation for a player of his calibre.

“When it comes to Higuain, we need a team performance to limit him and the other Argentina strikers.”

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