Friday January 22 2016
Buffon: ‘Roma game crucial’

Juventus goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon admits Sunday’s game is “crucial” to put Roma 10 points behind.

The Bianconeri are firmly back in the Scudetto race, while the Lupi have struggled in recent weeks, and the two meet in Turin on Sunday evening.

“If we win we’ll send them 10 points behind,” Buffon noted in an interview with Gazzetta dello Sport.

“It would be crucial, because we’re talking about a dangerous team, fearsome. The further away Roma are, the better for us.

“Playing against Francesco Totti? There will only be a lot of affection. Maybe there will be a bit of melancholy looking back at the years we spent together in the Italy youth teams, when we were full of dreams.

“Wonderful years.”

Buffon is also Azzurri captain, and went on to discuss the national team’s chances in Euro 2016 this summer.

“We have a team with a great style of play, strong character and there are some players who can make a big impact if taken at the right time. [Marco] Verratti for example, then [Andrea] Pirlo.

“Do I still think Pirlo can do it? Yes, I believe it. Of course I believe it.

“The strongest Italy I played for? The one in 2002 was exceptional from a technical standpoint. In 2006 we found a unique team spirit, in terms of morale that team was unreachable.

“In recent years I’ve seen an important sense of belonging.”

The goalkeeper was not nominated for the Ballon d’Or, causing a storm in Italy, but the veteran insists he wasn’t fazed.

“I’ll answer without hypocrisy, I honestly don’t think I was screwed out of anything,” Buffon insisted.

“It might have been bad if I could compete to win it, but to come 14th or 20th…

“In fact, I got more publicity this way!”

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