Thursday August 11 2011
Buffon: 'Why Cassano was captain'

Gigi Buffon explains why it was “natural” to give Antonio Cassano the captain's armband against Spain.

The Bari native revealed he was surprised when coming back from the warm-up at his hometown stadium, the San Nicola, to find the armband on his locker.

“In all honesty, these are natural gestures and it came to mind yesterday. It seemed fairly normal considering it was a friendly and he'd care about this,” smiled the goalkeeper after Italy's 2-1 victory.

“For me it's an honour to wear the armband, but this squad has many captains. If we can give this honour to someone else on a special occasion, then I'm happy.

“It was such a natural issue that there's no need to even comment on it. There's mutual respect and affection between us all. If we had played in Brescia, then Andrea Pirlo would've had the armband.”

However, Buffon admitted there was also something more to giving Cassano a sense of responsibility.

“Behind that gesture there was also the meaning of what he can do for this team. Maybe even Antonio doesn't know how much he matters to us in the locker room and on the field.

“He must know it's up to him to be strong, do the work and be ready for Euro 2012.”

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