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'Even at 60 I would not turn them down' - Buffon leaves the door open for Italy return

23:36 WAT 27/11/2017
Gianluigi Buffon Italy Sweden
Though he appeared to end his international career earlier this month, the Juventus goalkeeper suggested he could be open to an Azzurri comeback

Just two weeks after announcing his retirement from international duty, legendary goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon had admitted he could play for the Italy national team again.

Buffon bid a tearful farewell to the Azzurri on November 13, just minutes after Italy fell to Sweden in a two-leg playoff and failed to reach the World Cup for the first time since 1958.

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Though that appeared to be the end of a legendary international career, the 39-year-old has now admitted he could return for Italy at some point.

"I took a break from the national team," Buffon said at the Gran Gala del Calcio in Milan on Monday.

"Both for Juventus and for the national team I have always considered myself a soldier," Buffon continued. 

"Even when I'm 60 I could never turn down any call because I have in me the concept of nation."

Italy manager Gian Piero Ventura left his post following his team's embarrassing failure to qualify for Russia, but Buffon chose not to lay blame on the outgoing boss. 

"Ventura has done the best job he could, but unfortunately we were unable to score in the two games against Sweden," Buffon said. 

The Juventus goalkeeper took home prizes for the best Italian player and best Italian goalkeeper at the awards ceremony on Monday. 

“I’m happy and proud. I never thought I’d get this kind of trophy," Buffon said, "and I’ll hold tight to it because I’ve never won best youngster!"