“The first moment could only be my debut with the Nazionale in Russia, in a climactically shocking night, as the snow was incredible, the pitch muddy, so the worst possible circumstances for me to make my debut.
Gigi Buffon described the six moments that defined his Italy career, on the 20th anniversary of his Azzurri debut. “A thousand games is unthinkable.”
“The next moment was my 1,000th game as a professional, which I celebrated in Italy-Albania. That is something I am proud of as I am e在线外围投注xperiencing it now. When I do retire, I’ll probably look back and feel very emotional about it.
The second moment chosen by fans was Italy-Paraguay.
“That was inevitable, the one on Zidane. It was a bit of a photographic save, it looked good on camera, even if that’s usually not my style. The speed and power of the header meant there was no other way to save it. I did well more than anything else to do it in a World Cup Final, as if we had conceded that one, we might not have been able to come back into the game.
He first pulled on the gloves for his country in a World Cup play-off in Russia on October 29, 1997 in Moscow, replacing injured Gianluca Pagliuca after 32 minutes of a 1-1 draw.
The fifth moment was an amusing one, the still image of when Buffon tried to swing from the crossbar in celebration at Euro 2016 and fell on his backside.
“I remember this with pleasure, even if it was embarrassing! The celebration after the victory over Belgium in the Euros, where I flung myself at the bar, not considering that it had rained and it was slippery. Once I got up there, the gloves couldn’t hold my 90-92kg, so I fell in a brutal and really clumsy way, with a terrible landing on my butt!
“These are the situations and moves where the goal seems written in stone and inevitable. Instead, something happens and you ask yourself, how did that ball not go in? It was a great reaction and an important save.”
“When you are a kid starting out, the idea of playing 1,000 games is unthinkable. If you set that as an objective, you’d need to go to therapy for six years to figure out what was wrong with you.
“Instead, living a healthy life, keeping your motivation up and loving what you do, the teammates you work with, it all feels easier and you can reach incredible targets.”
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“The adrenaline and joy for the win was so much that I reacted quickly to get back up and reassure everyone I was fine to continue celebrating!
“It was also, of course, the play-off to reach the 1998 World Cup in France. I came on and after five or six minutes I had to make a very important save for the result and it was a very difficult one. I did well to ensure I was ready and it wasn’t easy, coming皇冠外围投注 cold off the bench and in that freezing weather, but this proves that mentality can be much more important than physical condition.”
To celebrate the momentous date, SuperGigi was shown six clips chosen in an online vote by fans.
“This was I think my second game for the Nazionale. I came on for the second half at Parma, in my stadium, and I made perhaps one of the best saves of my career, but also one of the best for any goalkeeper.
“Against the Czech R网络外围投注epublic, if I remember rightly, I equalled Fabio Cannavaro’s record of 136 caps for Italy. It was certainly a wonderful memory, because to be in the elite of football and write such important pages in the history of the Azzurri is the dream of every player and of every child.”
The third clip chosen by the fans saw Buffon fingertip a Zinedine Zidane header over the bar in the 2006 World Cup Final.