Friday June 28 2013
Buffon rues Iniesta penalty

Gigi Buffon says Italy were just centimetres away from reaching the Confederations Cup Final. “That Andres Iniesta penalty…”

Spain booked their place in Sunday’s showdown with hosts Brazil after beating the Azzurri 7-6 in a shoot-out. The game ended 0-0.

“Only one team can win when it gets to penalties and, even if it hurts, we have to accept it,” the Juventus man stated. “Football is like that.

“I’m really disappointed that I didn’t get to the Iniesta penalty. It was really close to my hand and had I stopped that then we would perhaps be talking about something else now.”

Despite the reverse, Cesare Prandelli’s side did prove their worth with a gutsy display against the world’s best team.

“We will leave here with our heads held high,” the captain added. “I want to underline that, when it counts, Italy always respond.

“I’ve always said that we deliver because of our technical ability and our affection for the shirt. That allows us to overcome obstacles that, at first sight, seem insurmountable.

“I’m proud of what we did,” he added. “There is no need to party about it, but I believe that many have appreciated the way we played and suffered.”

Italy put in some effort against Spain in hot and humid conditions in Brazil.

“The Final would have been nice, you don’t get the chance to play such a game in the Maracana every day,” Buffon noted. “But had we got there then we would have perhaps had to play on all fours…

“Now we will give our all against Uruguay, because our holidays have not started yet.”