Sunday January 12 2014
Buffon: 'Insinuations amuse me'

Gigi Buffon again slammed those who criticise Serie A leaders Juventus. “Insinuations actually please me.”

The goalkeeper had already pointed out suggestions the Bianconeri win with ‘help’ was used as a ready excuse for those lacking their level of success.

“The fact there are still people today making insinuations on our victories actually pleases me in a way, because it means Juve are back to scaring the opposition,” smiled Buffon on JTV.

“As I already said, that is the alibi for those who do not win and the best justification they can give to their fans.

“Juve have the same role as the butler in a murder mystery – he always did it! Now that I am 36, all of this doesn’t touch me. In fact, it makes me quite proud.”

The title holders can notch up a record 11th consecutive victory this afternoon when they visit Cagliari.

“Last season, between Christmas and New Year, we had a 10-point advantage over second place. In January we struggled and Napoli caught us up. We learned from that experience and are keeping our foot firmly on the accelerator.

“Udinese caused us a huge amount of trouble on home turf, because they have a great tactician. I must also say Roma impressed me for 50-60 minutes. Fiorentina are the only side who beat us, though on top of their talents, we gave them a helping hand that day.

“I am happy with what I’m doing and what I have done, but I am not remotely sated. That is what pushes me on to keep improving. I always want a new challenge.

“I’m sure there will be a new Buffon, maybe someone even better than me. He has probably been born and is already in training as we speak. He may well be deciding whether or not to become a goalkeeper.

“There are some very good goalkeepers out there, like Nicola Leali, Mattia Perin and Francesco Bardi.

“I am very proud to be the captain of Juventus and never would’ve believed it a few years ago. At times I try to avoid thinking about being a reference point for the fans and teammates, just in case the enormity of it intimidates me.

“The initial criticism was excessive, but when you have a lot of experience it’s the type of thing that wakes you up, makes you feel alive again and want to prove yourself all over. This is the essence of our job, the essence of being a top level sportsman.”

Buffon also remembered back to his howler against Lecce, when he let a timid shot slip through his grasp, two years ago in Turin.

“A second after the ball rolled into the net, I heard the chants of support and affection from the crowd. It was priceless.”

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