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Buffon Will Not Return For Italy

Buffon Will Not Return For Italy

Paris Saint-Germain goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon will not play for Italy again and will “step back in self defence” from the Azzurri. The 40-year-old, who moved to the Parc des Princes in the summer after making 656 appearances for Juventus, initially retired from international football following Italy’s failure to qualify for the World Cup in Russia.

However, he answered a call-up for friendlies against Argentina and England prior to the summer showpiece and it was unclear whether or not he would continue for his country.

Related: UEFA Hand Buffon Three-Game Ban Over Ref Attack

However, the veteran custodian has now revealed it is all over after speaking with Italy coach Roberto Mancini earlier in the year.

“It’s very clear with Mancini,” he told Gazzetta dello Sport. “We talked in May and he was very kind and respectful. It was a constructive conversation.

“Sometimes someone with my history has to step back in self defence. Unfortunately I live on feelings and emotions and I give my soul for the cause.

“For the national team I gave even more and sometimes I wasn’t recognised for that.
“At 40 I don’t want it to look like I’m there just because it’s what I want, I was there and I’ve always been there because I have been and always will be Buffon.”

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