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Italy captain Gigi Buffon to miss match against England with ankle injury

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Italy's Gianluigi Buffon tries to stop a ball during a training session in Mangaratiba, Brazil, Wednesday, June 11, 2014. Italy will play in group D of the Brazil 2014 soccer World Cup

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 (Antonio Calanni/AP Photo)

Italy goalkeeper and captain Gigi Buffon has been ruled out of Saturday's Group D opener against England. Talented backup Salvatore Sirigu will replace the 2006 World Cup winner, who sprained his ankle during a training session in Manaus.

Italy manager Cesare Prandelli initially said Buffon's injury was "nothing serious," but the Juventus keeper made a statement from his social media accounts backing Sirigu amidst reports that the ankle problem has also affected his knee.

From Football Italia:

“Good day to everyone...” wrote Buffon on his official Twitter and WhoSay accounts.
“Life is beautiful and I am still indebted to her... It won’t be a missed game or another World Cup missed out to make me change my mind!!!
“Besides, there are many ways to be important, even if you’re not a protagonist on the field... therefore... forza great Salvatore... forza magical lads... FORZA ITALIA, my great love!!!”

Sirigu has had an outstandign season with Ligue 1 champions PSG, but in his last start against England, Italy lost 2-1 in an August 2012 friendly.

For complete World Cup 2014 coverage visit Yahoo Sports and follow @YahooSoccer

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Brooks Peck is the editor of Dirty Tackle on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him or follow on Twitter!

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