Italy’s Gianluigi Buffon Reflects On Netherlands Test; Backs Del Piero Return

The stopper appeared for the 100th time in Azzurri colours earlier tonight…

Italy were held to a 0-0 draw in Pescara by a solid Netherlands side, in a fairly lacklustre affair. The match marked Gianluigi Buffon’s 100th ever cap for the Azzurri, and at the completion of the contest he briefly reflected on his career to date.

“I aspired to debut a little easier,” Gigi said to Rai, in relation to the fact that he made his debut by coming off the bench in a match against Russia in 1997, to replace the injured Gianluca Pagliuca.

“We have won a world cup in my time, and we have maintained our consistency, which has been pleasing.

“So much for the past though, this is all about tonight, and it was good to see some young players play. I think that everyone has shown lot of character, but this should be expected by everyone at this level.

“We have no more time to wait, as the World Cup is around the corner, and everyone has to reach an appropriate level.

“It is always good when you do not concede, as it means that you have held tight throughout.”

‘Superman’ concluded the interview by discussing the potential return of Alessandro Del Piero to the international fold, as well as his current physical condition.

He continued, “Ale is searching for the optimum recovery to make a final push to be at his best in time for the World Cup. He would be great for us, but the decision rests in the hands of [coach Marcello] Lippi though, and he will make the best choice for Italy.

“For me, the important thing is to be 100 per cent psychologically, as sometimes it helps more than how you are feeling physically. I hope to have a solid six or seven months before the World Cup.”

Adrian Del Monte,