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Gianluigi Buffon is already welcoming Juventus teammate Amauri into the Nazionale. “He will bring immense enthusiasm.” The Brazilian has not yet completed his paperwork to achieve Italian citizenship, but should be eligible from next month. “I am certain of one thing: Amauri will come to the Azzurri and bring immense enthusiasm and I am sure he’ll do all he can for the team,” said Buffon.

“However, we must not forget those who have done and can still do a lot more for the Nazionale. I’m thinking of people like [Alberto] Gilardino and [Luca] Toni, especially Luca who was not called for yesterday’s game against Switzerland.” The 0-0 draw in Basel saw Claudio Marchisio and Domenico Criscito made their debuts, but Coach Marcello Lippi has hinted he will call Amauri when he becomes eligible. “Many of us have been putting the pressure on him, not just the players but also the media. I am not absolutely certain Amauri will play for Italy, but the important thing is that he is sure. This is not a decision to be made lightly.” Buffon also turned his attention to the new boys in the Azzurri squad, as the renewal process begins after the Confederations Cup debacle. “In the first half-hour I saw a good Italy performance with many scoring opportunities that we were unable to convert,” continued the goalkeeper.

“We played with a different spirit and there were some changes to recent games. Criscito, Marchisio and also Angelo Palombo showed they are ready and mature. If they continue like this, they can make their mark for Italy.” There has been debate over Italy’s chances of winning back-to-back World Cups, but Buffon has a different take on the issue. “I think our chances are very slim, but no worse than our odds before lifting the trophy in 2006.” [SuperSportManager.com]

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