Saturday December 28 2013
Buffon hails Conte and Azzurri

Gigi Buffon praised the team spirit at Juventus, Antonio Conte’s leadership and believes in Italy’s World Cup chances.

The goalkeeper will resume training in Turin tomorrow and spoke to Sky Sport Italia about his plans for 2014.

“The World Cup is an incredibly difficult tournament and one that is almost impossible to win,” said the man who took the trophy in 2006.

“If in that period we create a team spirit, a unity of intents and generally optimal fitness levels, then we could well hold out for seven games and maybe even win.

“The group with Uruguay, England and Costa Rica is tough, certainly more difficult than some groups, but on a par with others.”

Today in Dubai Juventus boss Conte received the award as Coach of the Year and Buffon agreed with the vote.

“The credit our Coach deserves for these last two and a half years is incredible and we can’t really know how much of it was down to him and how much to us players.

“He was fantastic at helping to motivate us, poke us and give us a precise football identity. In terms of individuals, there have been stronger Juve sides, but this is certainly the one with the best team spirit and that way the overall level of football is raised.”

The Bianconeri had finished seventh in Serie A for two years running until Conte took over and immediately won the Scudetto while unbeaten.

He added a second Serie A title and is currently five points clear of Roma at the top of the table.

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