Gianluigi Buffon Wins 150th International Cap, Italy Beats Bulgaria 1-0 In 2016 Euro Qualifier
He can be compared to legendary custodian Dino Zoff, who led Italy to glory during the 1982 FIFA World Cup at the age of 40. Gianluigi Buffon also guided the Azzurri for the 2006 World Cup title. Buffon is way ahead of Zoff in terms of international appearances. Zoff played 112 matches for Italy, while Buffon earned his 150th cap for his country on Sunday against Bulgaria.
And 37-year-old Buffon still feels he has a few more years left in him. The Juventus maestro started his international journey in a game against Russia in 1997 during a World Cup qualifier. At the twilight of his career, he is still sharp enough to rescue a 10-men Azzurri side when situations call for it. Like he did against Bulgaria in the stoppage time on Sunday at home, denying Georgi Milanov.
“I read somewhere that I’m aiming for 200 caps, but that’s not an objective of mine,” Buffon told reporters.
“Obviously I want to add quite a few more, but how many I don’t know. The nice thing about getting older is gaining the awareness and appreciating the value of what you’re doing.”
Buffon’s heroics over the years at club and international level won him a huge number of fans around the world. Last season he guided Juventus to fourth consecutive Serie A title and the Champions League final, where his team bowed down to Barcelona 3-1.
Daniele De Rossi converted an early penalty for Italy, a strike that not only guided the home team to a 1-0 win over Bulgaria, but also at the top of the group H. Italy now have 18 points from 8 games. De Rossi was given the marching-order later in the game.
Read Also: EPL Transfer News: Louis Van Gaal Not The Reason For Refusing Manchester United, Says Pedro
Italy is followed by Norway and Croatia, while Bulgaria is in the fourth place after the loss.
“We dominated the game and deserved to score more goals,” coach Antonio Conte said to Rai television. “I’m disappointed that the result was in the balance until the end, you always run the risk of getting an unlucky rebound.
“I didn’t see the De Rossi incident but if he retaliated, then he’s made a mistake, because he could have put everything at risk.”
Conte made some significant changes in the starting lineup against Bulgaria including leaving playmaker Andrea Pirlo after a lackluster 1-0 win over Malta in the last game.