Mercoledì, 17 Ottobre 2018
ROME

Soccer: Buffon backed after Beckenbauer pensioner jibe

English
© ANSA

(By Paul Virgo)
Rome, April 4 - Italy coach Cesare Prandelli has
backed Azzurri keeper Gianluigi Buffon to come back strongly
after Franz Beckenbauer said he looked like a "pensioner" in
Juventus's 2-0 defeat at Bayern Munich on Tuesday.
Bayern Honorary Chairman Beckenbauer was referring to
Buffon's reaction to David Alaba's long-distance shot that gave
Bayern the lead in the Champions League quarter-final first leg
in under less than 30 seconds.
"He seemed like a pensioner," Germany great Beckenbauer
said. "Alaba shot from 120 metres away.
"I don't want to upset Buffon, but he should have kept that
shot out. Perhaps he didn't think that Alaba would shoot from so
far".
Buffon was also at fault with Bayern's second goal, pushing
a Luiz Gustavo shot to the feet of Mario Mandzukic, who set up a
tap-in for Thomas Mueller.
The 35-year-old, who was part of Italy's 2006 World Cup
winning team and is still widely considered one of the world's
best keepers, took Beckenbauer's jibe on the chin.
"I can't object to anything which that old wise man
Beckenbauer said," Buffon told satirical news show Striscia la
Notizia after being awarded a golden 'tapir' as a booby prize
for his poor display.
"As the saying goes, when you're a hammer, you hit, when
you're an anvil, you take it.
"It's necessary to stay silent and wait for the next game.
"When you're in this line of business, mistakes happen. I'm
sorry I compromised the game. I'm sorry for me, for the team and
for my fans".
On Thursday Prandelli said he was confident Buffon would
soon show why he was named the IFFHS (International Federation
of Football History & Statistics) goalkeeper of the year four
times and was named goalkeeper of the 21st century and of the
decade by the same organisation.
"Gigi (Buffon) responded very well (to Beckenbauer), with
great balance and irony, and pensioners are wise" said
Prandelli.
"Joking aside, Gigi has already given a great reaction and
he'll keep doing so. Then the field of play will decide
everything.
"The tie (against Bayern) is still open, very open".
Buffon's mistakes always make headlines because they are so
rare.
Indeed, Napoli keeper Morgan De Sanctis last month
announced he was retiring from the national team as he said he
no longer had it in him to keep playing understudy to Buffon.
Buffon is blessed with superb reflexes, an ability to give
his defenders peace of mind with his firm command of the penalty
area under high balls and superb concentration skills.
He joined Juve from Parma in 2001 and helped them win the
2002, 2003 and 2012 Serie A titles, as well as the 2005 and 2006
scudettos that were subsequently taken away because of the
match-fixing scandal.
He was also part of the team that reached the final of the
European Champions League in 2003 and was among the handful of
top players who stayed at Juve to help them return to the top
flight after the were regelated because of the 2006 scandal.
He shares second place with Paolo Maldini in Italy's
all-time appearances standings with 126 caps, 10 fewer than 2006
World Cup-winning captain Fabio Cannavaro.

© Riproduzione riservata

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