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Buffon backs Lippi to emerge head high after stooping low at World Cup...

Italy goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon has labelled former coach Marcello Lippi "a winner", but that view has already been met with a gale of derisive laughter by the critics and fans who slammed the coach post World Cup elimination.

Lippi became public enemy number one overnight following La Nazionale's shambles of a defence in South Africa.

But new Nazionale skipper Buffon has urged the detractors to embrace the maxim to forgive and forget.

"I think that winners like Lippi are never alone," he told Radio 2.

Lippi shouldered most of the blame when he acknowledged where his men went wrong. Buffon though feels the psychological handbrake was engaged.

"Firstly the group was formed of many youngsters and it's not like they were used to these competitions, and so it was normal for psychological problems to appear," he added.

"All the press slammed Italy during the Confederations Cup last year, also saying the 2006 winners should have stayed home.

"But you also need experience."

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