Buffon: ‘When expectations are low…’

Gigi Buffon discussed his Italy career and going into Euro 2016. “When nobody expects anything, you can surprise people.”

The Juventus goalkeeper and captain spoke on a RAI TV special to begin Italy’s Euro 2016 adventure.

“We have a big responsibility to represent our country, which is passionate about football and even lives for it.

“We are not having our best moment, but when nobody expects anything that is when you can bring out more than you thought you had and surprise people.”

Gigi Buffon discussed his Italy career and going into Euro 2016. “When nobody expects anything, you can surprise people.”

The Juventus goalkeeper and captain spoke on a RAI TV special to begin Italy’s Euro 2016 adventure.

“We have a big responsibility to represent our country, which is passionate about football and even lives for it.

“We are not having our best moment, but when nobody expects anything that is when you can bring out more than you thought you had and surprise people.”

He was sitting next to the World Cup trophy, which Buffon lifted in Berlin 10 years ago.

“The World Cup is the greatest dream a player can have. I don’t have fond memories in a way of that night, as there was so much tension that I didn’t get to really enjoy the sport.

“Obviously the moment of lifting a World Cup is often compared to your wedding day or the birth of a child, but in professional terms nothing can compare to the World Cup.”

Buffon used to wear a Superman shirt when playing at Parma.

“I felt like a superhero at the time, because I was young! Now I feel like a person who is fully realised. I think the important thing in life is to maintain your balance, being aware of your strengths and weaknesses.

“I come from a sporting family and was the last to represent my country, but I made up for it.”

Buffon made his senior Azzurri debut in a 1998 World Cup play-off against Russia under driving snow when the first choice goalkeeper Gianluca Pagliuca went off injured after just 32 minutes.

“If there was one game I didn’t want to take part in, it was this one. The conditions were terrible and the tension high, as it was a very important match for qualification to a major tournament.

“What was I thinking? I couldn’t wait for the game to be over!

“Luck can help you every now and then, but determination is indispensible in football. I realised, at least as far as I am concerned, that it is fundamental for me. If I go on to the pitch really fired up, I get certain results, whereas if I’m relaxed I don’t do as well.”

Buffon won the World Cup in 2006 and went straight down to Serie B following Juve’s demotion.

“It was an opportunity for me and those who stayed to prove that words are backed up by facts too. At that moment it was right to send a small signal that we were doing a good thing and proving how much we felt that sense of belonging.”

Goalkeepers: 1 Gianluigi Buffon (Juventus), 13 Federico Marchetti (Lazio), 12 Salvatore Sirigu (Paris Saint Germain)
 

Defenders: 15 Andrea Barzagli (Juventus), 19 Leonardo Bonucci (Juventus), 3 Giorgio Chiellini (Juventus), 5 Angelo Obinze Ogbonna (West Ham)
 

Wide men: 21 Federico Bernardeschi (Fiorentina), 6 Antonio Candreva (Lazio),  4 Matteo Darmian (Manchester United), 2 Mattia De Sciglio (Milan), 22 Stephan El Shaarawy (Roma)
 

Midfielders: 16 Daniele De Rossi (Roma), 8 Alessandro Florenzi (Roma), 23 Emanuele Giaccherini (Bologna),10 Thiago Motta (Paris Saint Germain), 18 Marco Parolo (Lazio), 14 Stefano Sturaro (Juventus)
 

Forwards: 17 Citadin Martins Eder (Inter), 11 Ciro Immobile (Torino), 20 Lorenzo Insigne (Napoli), 9 Graziano Pellè (Southampton), 7 Simone Zaza (Juventus)

 

Reserves: Marco Benassi (Torino), Alex Meret (Udinese), Daniele Rugani (Juventus), Davide Zappacosta (Torino)
 

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