Sirigu: Buffon is not only a great player and captain, but also a problem-solver in the group

The Paris Saint-Germain goalkeeper praised the current Italian number one, insisting ahead of the Euro 2012 final against Spain that he provides comfort to the squad
Italy goalkeeper Salvatore Sirigu has spoken of his admiration for captain Gianluigi Buffon, despite the fact that he is yet to feature at Euro 2012.

The Paris Saint-Germain shot-stopper has only been capped twice by the Azzurri, but maintained that he has no qualms about playing second-fiddle to the Juventus goalkeeper.

Buffon has been in inspired form in the European Championship, making a number of key saves, whilst also saving an Ashley Cole penalty in the 4-2 shoot-out victory over England in the quarter-final.

Sirigu insists that Buffon remains a key figure - not only for him as a goalkeeper, but for the entire squad as a leader.

"His most important quality, before being a great player or a great captain, is that Gianluigi [Buffon] is a very down-to-earth man," the 25-year-old told RMC Sport.

"It's nice, he is amiable. He is the person who solves problems, who comforts us, that's a reference point in the group."

Cesare Prandelli's men encounter Spain in the Euro 2012 final in Kiev on Sunday. Kick-off is at 20:45CET