Buffon ready to celebrate

Gianluigi Buffon hailed Giorgio Chiellini and Mario Balotelli after Italy beat the Czech Republic to qualify for the World Cup.

Last Updated: 11/09/13 at 08:18 Post Comment

Gianluigi Buffon: Delighted after his side qualified for the World Cup

Gianluigi Buffon: Delighted after his side qualified for the World Cup

Free £50 bet

Daily Offers and Promotions, sign up for a free £50 matched bet

Italy captain Gianluigi Buffon hailed goalscorers Giorgio Chiellini and Mario Balotelli after his side beat the Czech Republic 2-1 to qualify for the World Cup finals.

The Azzurri trailed 1-0 at half-time but hit back with second-half goals from Giorgio Chiellini and Mario Balotelli.

"I want to thank Chiellini and Balotelli for the goals," Buffon told the Italian media. "Now we can fully celebrate."

Buffon had cause for double celebration as he equalled the record of 136 international appearances set by former Italy captain and defender Fabio Cannavaro in Turin.

"I dedicate my record to this group considering what we have built in the past few years with (Italy coach Cesare) Prandelli," the Juventus goalkeeper added.

"I also want to thank the fans, who have supported the national team with passion and this has been crucial for us.

"But the biggest satisfaction for me is to have earned a ticket to Brazil."

Prandelli was equally delighted with the fighting spirit shown by his players at the Juventus stadium.

The four-time World Cup winners dominated possession against the Czechs but paid the price for Balotelli squandering a clutch of quality chances in the opening half.

"Balotelli's mistakes? It happens that a striker misses chances in those moments," Prandelli said. "I told him to be calm and that he was doing a good job.

"I saw a great Italy.

"We created four goalscoring chances in the opening half and I told my players to believe it was possible because we were making chances for ourselves."

The victory in Turin leaves Italy unbeaten in Group B and seven points clear of nearest rivals Bulgaria, who beat Malta 2-1 on Tuesday.

"We are a special team," Prandelli said. "In recent years we have proved that we know our limits and that we can enhance our quality.

"Now we must remember that we can still improve.

"We will think about the World Cup with calmness."

The Italians have now won six of their eight qualifying matches and clinched their place in next year's tournament in Brazil with two games to spare.


Sky Bet Free Bet Club: £10 free bet - £5 free every week


Free £50 bet

Daily Offers and Promotions, sign up for a free £50 matched bet

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

D

oes the absence of Winston Bogarde mean he's finally left Chelsea?

nellyknows
The Pre-Season 'Is He Still There?' XI

P

resumably, Diaby is in this team but receiving treatment

lee
The Pre-Season 'Is He Still There?' XI

A

deadwood 11 and not an arsenal player listed. Heady days.

EssexGooner
The Pre-Season 'Is He Still There?' XI

Footer 365

Transfer News: Manchester City in talks with Frank Lampard over loan move

Frank Lampard's representatives are in talks with Manchester City over a loan move, according to Sky sources.

Transfer news: Arsene Wenger admits Thomas Vermaelen could leave Arsenal this summer

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger plans to make more signings this summer, but admits captain Thomas Vermaelen could leave.

Guus Hiddink vows to build on success of Holland predecessor Louis van Gaal

New Netherlands coach Guus Hiddink has vowed to build on the success of predecessor Louis van Gaal.

Mail Box

Are Villa Fans The Lowest Of Them All?

With the possible exception of Blackpool, are any club's fans feeling any more depressed about the start of the season than Villa? We also have a bizarre suggestion and...

How Can Tim Sherwood Be Out Of Work?

Don't peple know his PPG was THE BEST EVER FOR A SPURS MANAGER? We also have mails on Luis Suarez, the new fashion for 3-5-2 and more...

© 2014 British Sky Broadcasting Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media property