Buffon: England hit by strong league

Italy skipper Gianluigi Buffon has claimed the Premier League is "no longer very faithful" to the England national team.

Last Updated: 30/06/12 at 17:24 Post Comment

Gianluigi Buffon: Makes Premier League claim

Gianluigi Buffon: Makes Premier League claim

More of the games that matter

Upgrade in minutes or watch with a NOW TV Day Pass.

As the Azzurri prepare to face Spain in the Euro 2012 final in Kiev on Sunday, England's players have embarked on their summer holidays, beaten once again at the quarter-final stage.

The past 48 hours have been spent debating whether 37-year-old David Beckham should be allowed a career swan song at the Olympics in Team GB.

It does seem priorities have got slightly skewed somewhere.

And Buffon, who is looking to add another major international tournament to the World Cup in won in 2006, feels the answer lies in the Premier League's desire to attract the best players in the world.

The Italy skipper buys into the theory it is the best league. Indeed, he looked set to join it at one point when Manchester City were offering him big money to make the move from Serie A.

But Buffon does not feel that is the best way forward for the national side.

"Having a competitive league doesn't necessarily mean having competitive players," he said.

"For a number of years now, the English league has had the best football and is the best league in terms of quality.

"The money that's in the game means they can go and buy anyone from all over Europe or the world.

"This can happen in Spain and Italy as well as England but the league in England is no longer very faithful to what the national side needs.

"With this footballing globalisation, it's very difficult. You struggle to have players from your own country playing in the top league."

Yet Buffon does not write the Three Lions off completely.

Having been part of the Italy side that knocked England out of the quarter-finals on penalties last Sunday, he is acutely aware of how close Roy Hodgson's men came to going through.

It is a sadly familiar story.

England have now gone out of six competitions on penalties, including three at the quarter-final stage.

"The England national side has its own strengths and they're a lot more physical than other sides," said Buffon.

"But England aren't very lucky. They've lost on penalties in the last five or six times, so the margins between winning and losing are very thin indeed."

More of the games that matter

Upgrade in minutes or watch with a NOW TV Day Pass.

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

I

f Jose left a mess at Inter Milan then Rafa cleaned it up with a hand grenade and a bag of compost

westwoodbo
Benitez 'tidying up Mourinho's messes'

T

he name of the article is apt as all my wildest dreams will come through if it turns out to be true

parsy12
The Vote Pedro Gossip

Y

ouri Tielemans is everything Jack Wilshere wants to be!

ross1119
F365's Top Ten Breakthrough Stars Of 2015/16

Footer 365

Arsene Wenger responds to Jose Mourinho taunt

Arsene Wenger has brushed off Jose Mourinho's latest taunts after the Chelsea boss said the Gunners' recent spending may come as "a surprise".

Manuel Pellegrini backs Raheem Sterling to justify price

Manuel Pellegrini insists Raheem Sterling will justify his club-record £49million price tag at Manchester City in the coming years.

Jose Mourinho: Arsenal spending way to title contention

Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho says Arsene Wenger is buying his way into Premier League title contention.

Mail Box

Di Maria Just Didn't Fit (S**t Happens)

If a signing doesn't work there doesn't have to be a massive witch hunt. So there. Plus a detailed net spend rant, Breel Embolo, computer games and Louis van Gaal...

The Calculator Is On Wenger's Side...

Over the last five years, Arsenal's net spent is about 55% of Chelsea's, so shush your mouth Jose. Plus, Van Gaal is attacked and defended in equal measure...

© 2015 Sky Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media company