Buffon: Prandelli is the spokesman of the Italian nation

Juventus goalkeeper says coach deserves the utmost respect for strengthening bond between the national team and their supporters

gianluigi buffon
Italy captain Gianluigi Buffon Photo: Puma/Getty Images

Gianluigi Buffon has hailed Italy coach Cesare Prandelli as “the spokesman of the nation” for the way in which he has helped “unite” the country’s football fans.

Since taking charge of the Azzurri after the 2010 World Cup, Prandelli has made a point of taking his players to visit cities and towns hit by natural disasters, while he is also renowned for adopting a strong stance on issues such racism and corruption.

He is a tranquil person who has managed to interact and engage in dialogue with the people

Gianluigi Buffon

Consequently, Buffon feels that Prandelli deserves to be recognised as one of the most important and influential public figures in Italy.

“Prandelli has demonstrated that he is a very intelligent and capable person,” Azzurri captain Buffon told Goal.

“He is a tranquil person who has managed to interact and engage in dialogue with the people, even about the problems of our country.

“He has made himself the spokesman of the nation, giving clear signals like having the presence of the national team in whichever area of the country was undergoing particular problems.

“And these are signals that certainly help unite the Italian football fans with the team.”

Prandelli, of course, will be hoping to emulate Marcello Lippi by leading the country to World Cup glory this summer.

Buffon was a part of the side that triumphed in Germany eight years ago and he is desperate to collect a second winners’ medal, not least because his hopes of doing so in South Africa in 2010 were ruined by injury.

“I have won a World Cup, but I don’t know if a recipe for winning it again exists,” the 36-year-old goalkeeper mused.

“Surely what exists is the opportunity, because after winning in 2006 I didn’t have a chance to be a protagonist again, given the fact that in South Africa [when Italy were eliminated in the group stage] I only managed to play one half before leaving the pitch for injury.

“Now I have another possibility, which I have to take advantage of to the fullest in order not to have any regrets.”

Buffon is expected to lead Italy when they continue their World Cup preparations with a friendly against Spain at the Vicente Calderon on Wednesday evening. Kick-off is at 22:00CET.

For more information: https://www.puma.com/footballclub/global/en/believing-room

Antonio Conte
Paul Merson reveals his prediction for Norwich v Tottenham
Gossip
Paulo Dybala (Photo: Paulo Dybala / Instagram)
Arsenal considering move for Juventus forward Paulo Dybala - report
Gossip
Gabriel Jesus
Arsenal expected to lodge £35m bid for Man City attacker Gabriel Jesus - report
Gossip
Ousmane Dembele
Chelsea FC still keen on deal to sign Ousmane Dembele from FC Barcelona - report
Gossip
Fabrizio Romano
Fabrizio Romano provides update on Tottenham link to Paulo Dybala
Antonio Conte
Paul Merson reveals his prediction for Norwich v Tottenham
Gossip
Paulo Dybala (Photo: Paulo Dybala / Instagram)
Arsenal considering move for Juventus forward Paulo Dybala - report
Gossip
Gabriel Jesus
Arsenal expected to lodge £35m bid for Man City attacker Gabriel Jesus - report
Gossip
Ousmane Dembele
Chelsea FC still keen on deal to sign Ousmane Dembele from FC Barcelona - report
Gossip
Fabrizio Romano
Fabrizio Romano provides update on Tottenham link to Paulo Dybala
Slideshow
Top 50 Muslim footballers: Arsenal, Chelsea FC, Liverpool FC and Man United stars feature
Top 50 Muslim footballers: Arsenal, Chelsea FC, Liverpool FC and Man United stars feature