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Buffon: I am not targeting 200 caps

Gianluigi Buffon does not want to put a limit on how many times he can put on the Italy shirt ahead of his 150th cap.

The long-time Juventus goalkeeper will reach the milestone in Italy’s European Championship qualifier against Bulgaria on Sunday – a crucial tie as Antonio Conte’s men look to stay in the top two in Group H.

Buffon, 37, dispelled theories he was chasing a record mark of 200, Italy’s all-time record appearance holder just wanting to play at a level worthy of holding his spot in goal.

The most caps by any player at international level is 184, by Egypt’s Ahmed Hassan.

“Obviously, [150 caps] are many,” Buffon told a news conference. 

“I heard somebody saying that I am now targeting 200 but… I swear that’s not a target of mine to be honest. 

“What I do hope and think to do is to make myself available and play high level matches and keep performing at high level. 

“Then we’ll see whether it will be 10, 20, 30 or two more games.”

Conte, who has both played with and coached Buffon at club and international level, said words failed him when it came to describing the 2006 World Cup winner.

“I think that finding an adjective for Buffon is pretty hard to be honest because we all know the great champion he is,”  Conte said.

“I wouldn’t want to be unfair with him by using an adjective that would express even less than his greatness. He is aware of the esteem I feel for him first and foremost as a man and then as a footballer. 

“He has been my team-mate, then my goalkeeper at the club I was at and now he is the goalkeeper of the national team. 

“He is held in very high esteem and he’s got a huge credit with me.”

Sun 6 Sep, 2015
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