Buffon to walk away from Italy again

By Sports Desk May 17, 2018

Gianluigi Buffon says he will not play for Italy again after he leaves Juventus at the end of the season.

The 40-year-old came out of international retirement to win his 176th senior cap in the 2-0 friendly defeat to Argentina in March.

However, Buffon says the time is right to allow younger goalkeepers to stake their claim for Italy's number one spot, meaning he will not make himself available for the friendly against Saudi Arabia this month, or the matches against France and Netherlands in June.

"I said that, if Buffon became a problem three months ago, I would not dare think what he could be after another three months, or even six, or one year later," he told a news conference on Thursday, where he announced he will leave Juve after their Serie A clash with Verona on Saturday.

"It'd be extremely complicated to deal with and something I really want to keep my distance from, because I don't think I deserve that.

"The national team already have some great and young goalkeepers who need to get their own experiences. So, I won't be wearing the Azzurri shirt against Netherlands on June 4."

Buffon, who is Italy's leading caps-holder, made his international debut back in 1997.

He won the World Cup in 2006 and reached the final of Euro 2012, where Italy lost to Spain.

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