Buffon: Stop thinking like losers and focus on Ireland clash

The Azzurri captain has warned his teammates not to be distracted by the possibility of Spain and Croatia drawing ahead of his side's clash with the Irish on Monday.
Gianluigi Buffon has lambasted the Italian media's preoccupation with what he called "the wrong issues" ahead of Italy's final Group C game against Republic of Ireland at Euro 2012.

The Juventus keeper hit out at the newspapers in his home country as headlines in the past days contained more talk of a possible arrangement between Croatia and Spain for a 2-2 draw, a result which would send both teams to the quarterfinals, than on Italy's own crunch game against Ireland.

"For two days people have exclusively been talking about a biscotto," Buffon said on his personal Facebook page, using the colloquial term which roughly translates to 'stitch-up'.

"A biscotto here, a biscotto there, a biscotto up, a biscotto down ... it’s as if we’d already beaten Ireland," he continued.

“As if we owned the culture of suspicion and were the only ones who could use it ... As if drawing a match is the same as getting a 2-2 result ... As if settling for a result (that satisfies both teams) in the last 20 minutes is the same as fixing a game ... As if the others were always the guilty parties ... As if in order to hide our insecurity and fragility we always need an alibi."

Buffon then went on to urge his countrymen and teammates to concentrate on the 90 minutes against Giovanni Trapattoni's side and cast all thoughts of conspiracy aside.

“Let us focus on ourselves and try to win the match. The rest is hot air, bar talk, the conjecture of mediocrity and thinking like losers.”

Follow GOAL.COM USA on