Sunday July 1 2012
Buffon: 'Hats off to Spain'

Gianluigi Buffon took his hat off to Spain. “Italy had a wonderful journey, but they have an inestimable value.”

The Azzurri had been unbeaten up to the Final in Kiev, but were defeated 4-0 by a side that made history with a third consecutive major tournament.

“The game with Germany felt like a Final, but tonight there was nothing to be done,” the goalkeeper told Rai Sport.

“They were too superior and so the regrets about losing are possibly less hard, as when you face a powerful and invulnerable force like this, you can accept the defeat easier.

“We had a great tournament, it was a wonderful journey and clearly you want to win when in the Final, but here you do meet a side of your level. Tonight we met a team with an inestimable value.

“We thank the fans with all our hearts, as they never abandoned us and it gave us pride to give them these emotions. At times you meet someone stronger and so credit to them.

“The Nazionale belongs to everyone and is the only vehicle that reanimates and brings some joy back into the homes of fans.”