UEFA Q&A: Buffon's path to Portugal (1 Viewer)

Aug 1, 2003
17,679
#1
Buffon's path to Portugal
Friday, 06 February 2004
By Paddy Agnew <--- my favourite journalist ;)


"I rate him as the best goalkeeper in the world at the moment," Manchester United FC's Ryan Giggs told uefa.com. S.S. Lazio's Jaap Stam added: "There are many great goalkeepers in Serie A at the moment, but for me Gianluigi Buffon of Juventus [FC] is just about the best."

Fans' accolade
The respect of his peers is one thing - the reverence of the footballing public is another, and the Italian goalkeeper also scooped a major honour when he was named in uefa.com users' Team of 2003. The plaudits are welcome, but as he told uefa.com, Buffon's priority for this year is UEFA EURO 2004™.


uefa.com: Let's go back to the beginning of this qualifying campaign. After Italy's premature exit from the 2002 FIFA World Cup finals, how deep was the sense of disappointment in the team camp?

Buffon: After the World Cup finals, we definitely had a couple of months when we were a bit lost and it looked as if the coach, Giovanni Trapattoni, was no longer in control of the situation. Yet, in the end, with no fuss and with his typical coolness, he turned things around and got a grip of the team again.

uefa.com: Obviously, those problems came home to roost when Italy were beaten 2-1 by Wales in Cardiff. With just four points from your first three games, did you begin to think that you might not qualify?

Buffon: Certainly, at that moment we weren't thinking of winning the group, that's for sure. Frankly, it seemed that we might need a miracle to get to the finals, perhaps via the play-offs. Yet, in the end, thanks to a bit of luck and to our own bravura, having touched the very bottom, we managed to come up again and get into the finals.

uefa.com: Almost one year later at the San Siro, however, Italy gained revenge in a 4-0 win. What was the atmosphere like that night?

Buffon: It was electric, because we were really up for that game. We knew it was an absolutely vital game for us and then more than anything we really wanted to wipe out the memory of Cardiff. Then, after a first half that finished 0-0, a first half when we had been a bit unlucky, you begin to get just a bit afraid, you begin to think to yourself that this will be one of those nights when nothing goes right. In the end, of course, it wasn't.

uefa.com: That was clearly the definitive turning point in the group?

Buffon: Undoubtedly. After all, Wales had been on top of the group looking good, for us it was like winning away from home.

uefa.com: Many commentators feel that Italy got a good draw along with Denmark, Sweden and Bulgaria for the finals in Portugal. Do you agree?

Buffon: Yes definitely. We're drawn with sides that can be awkward but are certainly not the strongest in the tournament.

uefa.com: Simple question, now. Can Italy win EURO 2004™ and atone for that last gasp defeat by France four years ago?


Buffon: Yes, Italy can win because this is an experienced, quality team with a strong squad and some class players, any one of whom can win a match for you at any moment. Look at [Christian] Vieri, [Alessandro] Del Piero and [Francesco] Totti - they are three brilliant players who not only play well together but who also put themselves at the service of the team in defence.
 

Fred

Senior Member
Oct 2, 2003
40,763
#2
:blah:

:blah:

Italy may reach the finals,but they'll bump into the dukes there.
Henry and Zidane,well show the azurri their stuff then:D
 

Azzurri7

Pinturicchio
Moderator
Dec 16, 2003
72,660
#3
well Fred Weasley : if they got Zidane and henry Dun forget that we Got : Vieri , Totti , Del piero , Cannavaro , Nesta , Buffon ! ciao;)buddy
 
Sep 28, 2002
13,975
#4
++ [ originally posted by fred weasley ] ++
:blah:

:blah:

Italy may reach the finals,but they'll bump into the dukes there.
Henry and Zidane,well show the azurri their stuff then:D
oh fek off, if it was buffon in the goal wiltorn would have never scored.
 

baggio

Senior Member
Jun 3, 2003
19,250
#5
Id like to think this generation of Italian stars have attained their peak. Italy is gonna definety have a good showing at Euro 2004 imo.
 

Fred

Senior Member
Oct 2, 2003
40,763
#6
++ [ originally posted by azzurri7 ] ++
well Fred Weasley : if they got Zidane and henry Dun forget that we Got : Vieri , Totti , Del piero , Cannavaro , Nesta , Buffon ! ciao;)buddy
well i dont think Vieri,Totti,DP,Canna,Nesta and Buffon are as good as Henry,Zidane,Pires,Giuly,Trezeguet,Vieira,Makelele,Thuram and Mexes.
but anyway that is not the important teamwork is much more important,but what i meant was we have much bigger names:stuckup:
 

Fred

Senior Member
Oct 2, 2003
40,763
#7
++ [ originally posted by Fliakis ] ++


oh fek off, if it was buffon in the goal wiltorn would have never scored.
dude,dont start with excuses again we beat you and thats that.

Hard luck next time;)
 

Sid

Senior Member
Nov 10, 2003
2,377
#8
++ [ originally posted by fred weasley ] ++
well i dont think Vieri,Totti,DP,Canna,Nesta and Buffon are as good as Henry,Zidane,Pires,Giuly,Trezeguet,Vieira,Makelele,Thuram and Mexes.
but anyway that is not the important teamwork is much more important,but what i meant was we have much bigger names:stuckup:
BIGGER names, BIGGER exits.....remember WC 2002.......:rolleyes:
 
Sep 28, 2002
13,975
#12
++ [ originally posted by Kaiser Franco ] ++
Yes but the point is that without Toldo erecting a bunker in the semi there would not have been any Italy-France final.
who knows? its stupid to talk about what would have happened if something didn't happen. if zambrotta wasn't sent off, maybe italy would have won in regular regular time.
 

baggio

Senior Member
Jun 3, 2003
19,250
#13
Toldo was awesome in Euro 2000. No doubt about it. And he was in way better form than Buffon at that point of time. So with or without Buffon's injury, i was hopoing toldo would play.
 
Dec 27, 2003
1,979
#14
++ [ originally posted by Fliakis ] ++


who knows? its stupid to talk about what would have happened if something didn't happen. if zambrotta wasn't sent off, maybe italy would have won in regular regular time.
Or maybe they would have played more openly, allowing the Dutch to score and Toldo would not have found the motivation to stop Ronald De Boer's penalty twice.

Talking about what may have happened if circumstances had been different is hardly stupid. It makes you realize how it is often details that determine the course of history.

If there had been a storm on D day as feared by meteorologists, the Allied Forces would have been slaughtered by the Germans in Normandy, and most of Western Europe would probably have ended up under the yoke of the USSR. Luckily the storm occured only a few days later.
 

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