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Gianluigi Buffon

I may be 40 but I'm still Juve's number one – Buffon bullish over Italy return

01:59 SAST 2018/03/23
The Juventus legend's inclusion has attracted criticism but he was bullish over his national team return for Friday's showdown with Argentina

Gianluigi Buffon has hit back at critics of his Italy return, pointing to his status as Juventus' first-choice keeper as proof he can still be of use for the national team.

Buffon is back with the Azzurri for friendlies against Argentina and England, having previously seemingly ended his international career following their shock failure to qualify for the World Cup in Russia.

Capped a record 175 times by Italy, Buffon's inclusion has attracted criticism but the Juventus captain was bullish over his return for Friday's showdown with Argentina in Manchester.

"I think everyone has figured out the situation and know the role I played," Buffon told reporters.

"I am welcoming, positive and think I have been very altruistic in my career, giving up on personal records for the good of the team.

"Once it was made clear that this would not be just a testimonial, because that would not have interested me, and that I'd be useful to the team… I came here with great enthusiasm.

"I may be 40 years old, but I am still the number one goalkeeper at Juventus.

"I don't know if the last match of my career will be for Italy or Juventus. I do know it'll be a calm and sober occasion. I entered into football on a Vespa, I'll leave it with only a company car."