Saturday November 16 2013
Buffon: 'Italy belong in competition'

Gigi Buffon is confident “Italy are animals who belong in competition” after a friendly draw with Germany.

The Azzurri held Germany to a 1-1 draw last night at San Siro and are in London for Monday’s test with Nigeria, who qualified for the World Cup today.

“There are certainly those who are at a more advanced stage than we are, but we are still in good shape,” said Buffon in his Press conference.

“Unlike others, we have the quality of knowing when and how to suffer under pressure. When there is a complicated situation, we tend to do very well indeed.

“Cesare Prandelli is right when he says we mustn’t ask for the moon, that we are not the strongest team in the world.

“We’ve got to go into the World Cup expecting the same as we did before Euro 2012 and the Confederations Cup.

“That means good performances, often hand in hand with good results, which isn’t something to be sniffed at.

“However, it’s not easy to say what the real Italy are like now. We are animals who belong in competition.”

Buffon was impressed with Germany’s performance at San Siro and believes they will make a big splash in Brazil next summer.

“They reminded me of Spain with many young players, experience, passing and confidence on the field. We should admit it, they made us suffer last night and if we meet them at the World Cup then it’ll be truly tough.

“Yet we stayed in the game, even when we seemed to be over-run. Our performance should be praised, as we gave some signs. At times, not losing ought to be considered a quality.”

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