Sunday March 20 2016
Buffon-Bernardeschi, Azzurri exchange

Juventus' Gianluigi Buffon says 'Italy's greatest talent' is Fiorentina's Federico Bernardeschi, who thanks 'the legend'.

Coach Antonio Conte's call-ups for the friendlies against heavyweights Spain and Germany included the young Viola winger for the first time.

After setting a new record in today's match against Torino for the longest undefeated run in Serie A, Buffon discussed the Azzurri, and he laid special emphasis on the 22-year-old.

“He is from Carrara, just like me”, the goalkeeper told Sky Sports Italy. “He is the greatest talent in Italian football.

“He has physicality, technique and the will to sacrifice himself, along with great technique. He absolutely deserved his call-up and I hope he can show his worth.”

Bernardeschi was told about the senior Azzurro's compliments and responded in kind.

“I grew up with the legend of Buffon,” he told the Press. “I'd like to thank him for those great words, and I can say that he is a model for me and for all Italian children.

“He's always been the number one, even internationally. I hope I can show my worth in my ten days at Coverciano.”

Conte may use him in a different role than the one he currently covers at Fiorentina, with the option of deploying him as an attacking central midfielder rather than a winger.

“I am always available for the Coach and I do my best. Someday I'll specialise in my own role, but for now what matters is being able to play and giving 100 per cent. I prefer to be in the centre, but I can play anywhere.”

Finally, the soon-to-be Azzurro discussed today's match, which Fiorentina disappointingly drew 0-0.

“We knew it was going to be a very difficult match against a team that knew how to close itself.

“We were a little imprecise, but their goalkeeper was also really good and he managed to prevent his team's defeat.”