Buffon: We honored our place in the game

The veteran keeper was quick to praise his teammates after his penalty heroics helped to salvage some pride at the end of the tournament.

Gianluigi Buffon praised his side’s determination after Italy secured third place in the Confederations Cup with a 3-2 penalty shootout victory over Uruguay in Salvador.

The Azzurri had to see out the final 10 minutes of extra time with 10 men after Riccardo Montolivo was sent off, but Cesare Prandelli’s team dug deep and secured a victory on penalties, with Buffon coming up with three saves in the shootout.

"It's a moment for us to be proud, because we did well in a very difficult match," he said.“It would've been harder if we didn't show this type of character on the pitch. We suffered a lot during the match, but this outcome made it worthwhile and I was able to give my best for the team."

Italy was knocked out in the semifinal by Spain on penalties after a brave display against the World champion, and the manner of the victory over Uruguay convinced Buffon that his country is still right at the top of the international game.

"We honored our place in the football world the best way we could,” added the Juventus keeper.

“It’s a miracle we’re here now. We managed not to lose, and this is very positive.”