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Buffon denies ´step aside´ claims

Juventus goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon denied claims he said other Serie A clubs step aside when facing the champions.

A La Gazzetta dello Sport report suggested the 38-year-old told his team-mates the difference between their domestic campaign and the Champions League was that their rivals moved aside in Italy.

However, Buffon – whose team have won five straight league titles – rubbished those claims, saying such a conversation never took place.

“What has happened is part of a fantasy life,” he told a news conference on Friday.

“I live in real life.

“I never talked about anything. I shouldn’t even be here to say it.”

Buffon was speaking ahead of Italy’s World Cup qualifier against Liechtenstein on Saturday.

Despite being expected to win the Group G clash comfortably, Buffon warned his team against complacency.

“We’re favourites because individually we’re stronger than them,” he said.

“But without humility and the right ruthlessness you run the risk of messing and we can’t let this happen as we’re developing and have to carry on.”

Italy are second in the group but level on points with leaders Spain, while Liechtenstein are bottom, point-less and having conceded 12 goals in three games.

Sat 12 Nov, 2016
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