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Buffon hopes to avoid penalties against England

SoccerNews in European Championships, Serie A 22 Jun 2012

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Italy captain Gianluigi Buffon is hoping his side’s Euro 2012 quarter-final clash with England does not get as far as a penalty shootout.

The Azzurri finished second in Group B, behind reigning champions Spain, and will face Roy Hodgson’s Group D winners in their first knockout game on Sunday.

And with the possibility of penalties now looming, the Juventus shot-stopper insisted he would like to see the game decided in normal time.

“Three times it has happened to me with the national team that a game has been decided on penalties,” Buffon said on Friday. “Twice I won, and once I lost.

“However, for the sake of the coronary arteries, mine and everyone else’s, it would be better to close out the game with England before then.”

While Buffon freely admits that nerves sometimes get the better of him, he claims that his happy-go-lucky team-mate Antonio Cassano has no such problems.

“I like his healthy insanity,” he said. “I think it is an added value for us. He is a leader and he often underestimates these gifts of his.

“I like his extravagant, at times even forceful, way of expressing himself.”

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