Wednesday February 2 2011
Buffon to make Italy 'debut'

Juventus goalkeeper Gigi Buffon has likened his return to international duty to making his debut for Italy all over again.

The veteran shot stopper was out for seven months after suffering a back injury at the World Cup in South Africa last summer.

He returned to action last month and has been called up to play in a friendly against Germany.

"I've been through some tough and difficult months," Buffon said. "The back surgery, the physiotherapy and the varied training sessions…

"February 9 will be my 'debut' with Italy. It will be another strong emotion."

Reflecting on Serie A, he said: "Juventus are going through a difficult time, but it would be useful to take pity on ourselves.

"The minimum objective is to get fourth place and qualify for the Champions League. I am convinced that it's an objective that's within our reach.

"The team has been struck by a number of injuries. But we don't want to look for excuses. The games against Palermo and Cagliari will be fundamental.

"Alessandro Matri is a great player and I would like to give him a warm welcome."

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