Conte is a winner, says Buffon

The Azzurri skipper is looking forward to working with the former Juventus boss again and says all Italians should be delighted with his appointment
Gianluigi Buffon has hailed the appointment of Antonio Conte as Italy coach and feels the 45-year-old will bring a winning mentality to the Azzurri set-up.

The former Juventus boss left Turin this summer after three Serie A-winning seasons with the Old Lady and was handed the national team job following Cesare Prandelli's resignation.

Buffon believes that every football fan in Italy should be delighted to have Conte in charge of their country.

"He will be very good for both the footballing movement and also for individuals in the national team," he told La Gazzetta dello Sport.

"He is a natural fundamentalist, but he also has the intelligence and sensitivity to understand and adapt to situations that are not those of a club.

"Antonio is a winner as a coach and as a character. It's normal that fans of Juventus' rivals are bitter against him. But I'm sure 95 per cent of Italians would like to have him coach their team and the same is true for the national team."

Buffon went on to say that he wants to represent his country at the next World Cup in 2018, by which time he will be 40 years of age.

"If I can carry on until 40 and make it to a sixth World Cup, that would really be amazing. No one has ever made six World Cups before.

"It's better not to think about this because these four years will be very hard."

Carlo Tavecchio was appointed president of the Italian Football Federation (FIGC) despite courting controversy recently for alleged racism, but Buffon feels he will perform his new role well.

"I have nothing disagreeable to say - I know him. I think that, at 71, he has great experience on his side. Now we need to find cohesion, unity of purpose."