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Buffon has ‘great faith’ in Italy squad ahead of EURO 2024

Buffon has ‘great faith’ in Italy squad ahead of EURO 2024
Buffon has ‘great faith’ in Italy squad ahead of EURO 2024

Gigi Buffon has ‘a great deal of faith’ in the Italy squad going into EURO 2024 and tonight’s friendly against Bosnia and Herzegovina, but is also celebrating something closer to home.

It kicks off at the Stadio Castellani in Empoli at 19.45 UK time (18.45 GMT).

You can follow all the build-up and action as it happens on the LIVEBLOG.

This is the final friendly before the Azzurri jet off to Germany for EURO 2024, having been held 0-0 by Turkey on Tuesday.

However, Buffon was admittedly distracted this afternoon, because his hometown club Carrarese won the play-off with Vicenza this evening and secured promotion to Serie B after a 76-year absence.

“I’ve been in constant contact with friends there for hours. It’s been a great season for me, as Juventus won the Coppa Italia, Parma were promoted to Serie A and Carrarese got back into Serie B. I should’ve stopped playing earlier, it’s the only way to enjoy these things!” Buffon told Sky Sport Italia.

“I am very superstitious, so I rarely go to the stadium to see the teams I support. It is better for me to keep an eye on them from afar. This is how much I love Italy, I remained in the training camp when Carrara was going mad!”

Buffon enjoying new Italy role

Italy have their last friendly match before the EURO 2024 competition, when they will face Albania, Spain and Croatia in the group phase.

“We ask these lads to do what they are capable of, what they’ve shown that they can do, which is why the coach called them up for this tournament. These are good lads who can be relied upon, so I have a great deal of faith in them.”

Before the game today, the Italy squad that won the European Under-17 Championship will be celebrated and show off the trophy on the field at the Stadio Castellani.

“In recent years, our youth teams have achieved some very prestigious results. Either that means something is changing or that we are reaping the rewards for the seeds that were sowed a while back,” added Buffon.

The Azzurrini have also won the most recent edition of the European Under-19 Championship and reached the Under-20 World Cup Final.