Italy goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon says his team-mates’ heart and soul often means they earn victories that are not always fully deserved, such as against Macedonia on Sunday.
The Azzurri won a thrilling World Cup qualifying encounter in Skopje as Ciro Immobile came to their rescue with a late double to seal a 3-2 victory.
A win had looked unlikely as Italy trailed 2-1 against a team ranked 133 places below them with only 15 minutes remaining, but Buffon paid tribute to his team’s character as they found a way to keep pace with Spain at the top of Group G.
“It was a very strange game,” the veteran shot stopper said to Rai.
“We took the lead and then we were not able to manage it in an appropriate manner. We allowed our opponents too many scoring opportunities and that is something we don’t usually do.
“Other than the result, we can take from this the fact we always give our heart and soul, which perhaps sometimes gives us better results than we deserve.
“Giampiero Ventura tries to help us by passing on his concepts and his way of interpreting football.
“Every now and then even we make mistakes, so some games that seem easy on paper get complicated.
“But we now have seven points after three matches and that is something to build on.”
Italy’s next World Cup qualifier will see them play in Liechtenstein on November 12.