Parma goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon said Cristiano Ronaldo ‘rightly thought about himself’ when joining Manchester United and stressed Gianluigi Donnarumma’s decision ‘must be respected’.
The Gialloblu shot stopper left Juventus after 2020-21 and re-joined Parma in Serie B. The 43-year-old spoke to Radio Anch’io Sport about Italy’s two draws in the World Cup Qualifiers.
Buffon, who has kept one clean sheet in two Serie B games with the Ducali, believes the Azzurri were unlucky to only claim two points from their last two games.
“Italy’s problem was good luck,” Buffon told Radio Anch’io Sport. “When you arrive from a great victory, where everything went in the right direction, things are going less well.
“Objectively, against Bulgaria and Switzerland, there were performances, we could have scored three goals in both games.
“Two draws on chance. If you replay those games 100 times, you win 90 of them.”
Lazio striker Ciro Immobile has been criticised for his performances up front with the national team and Buffon defends the striker.
“To question him is callous,” Buffon said. “Objectively, what he is showing in the League is something important, he has great numbers.
“Ciro works hard and fights a lot for the team.”
Buffon dreams of a sixth appearance at the World Cup next year, but stressed he has not set Qatar 2022 as a target.
“I’m not aiming for anything. I want to be happy, my head and body are in charge,” the veteran continued.
“With great pleasure and enthusiasm, I continue to play. Right now, I don’t consider the idea of quitting. I realise that I’m a very important player for the people, in Parma the fans entrust me with their dreams and hopes.
“If [CT Roberto] Mancini was to call me, we will see. The coach didn’t make any mistakes and we spoke for the last time two or three years ago. I don’t want to create unnecessary pressure.”
Buffon weighed in on his former teammate Ronaldo’s departure from Juventus this summer, as the Portugal captain moved to Manchester United ahead of the international break.
“I don’t think the fans should be surprised,” Buffon added. “He has the reputation of a great professional who rightly thinks about himself a lot.
“In these three years he has contributed with great performances and scored many goals. I don’t see anything illogical in his choice to leave, he thought a lot about it.
“Juve are in a transition period, I don’t know if it’s generational or the skeleton. You pay a bit when these things happen. When you have a coach like [Max] Allegri, maybe you don’t reach the target, but you get close to it.”
Gianluigi Donnarumma joined Paris Saint-Germain on a free transfer when his contract at Milan expired, but his two first games in 2021-22 was with Italy, as Keylor Navas has been preferred in Paris.
“The choices of a lad, who is also a professional, must be respected,” Buffon contined. “After years in which he has not played at certain stages, he has chosen to go and no one can and must comment it.
“We are talking about a boy who has years and years left in his career, looking for the gratifications that I found.
“He was in a particular situation; Paris Saint-Germain have one of their strengths in goal and that’s why Keylor Navas is playing.
“I don’t think Gigio will have problems being a reference.”