Buffon ends World Cup unbeaten in normal play

Updated: 25 February 2007 10:35 IST

Only an own-goal and a penalty shot got past Gianluigi Buffon at this World Cup. Otherwise, Italy's goalkeeper was unbeatable.

Buffon ends World Cup unbeaten in normal play

Berlin:

Only an own-goal and a penalty shot got past Gianluigi Buffon at this World Cup. Otherwise, Italy's goalkeeper was unbeatable. "Over the course of a league season there are times when you struggle with your form," Buffon said before Italy beat France 5-3 in a penalty shootout to win its fourth World Cup. "In this tournament, that's never happened and I think that has given my teammates confidence," Buffon added. "It's never crossed my mind that I would be scored on." Italy defender Cristian Zaccardo scored an own-goal 27 minutes into Italy's 1-1 draw with the United States in the first round and Zinedine Zidane converted a penalty for France seven minutes into Sunday's final. In the 103rd minute of the final, Buffon leaped high into the air to push a header from Zidane over the bar. That was about as close as anyone got to scoring on Buffon in normal play over the course of Italy's seven games. Buffon didn't stop any penalties during the shootout - but he didn't have to. That's because Italy converted all five of its shots and David Trezeguet hit his attempt off the crossbar. "It only interests me for the good of the team, not for any personal satisfaction," Buffon said of his performance. While Buffon was superb, Italy's defence deserves just as much merit. "In the end, what has characterised Italy is the group spirit and the absence of egoists," Buffon said. (AP)

Topics : Football
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