Legendary Italy goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon has said that England’s Joe Hart can become one of the best goalkeeper’s in the world ahead of the Azzurri’s Euro 2012 quarter-final match against the Three Lions on Sunday.
In addition, the Juventus man also had the utmost praise for Germany’s Manuel Neuer and fellow Italy international Salvatore Sirigu.
“Together with Neuer and Sirigu, he can become the best goalkeeper in the world,” said Buffon.
“The difference between a normal goalkeeper and a great goalkeeper is the attention to detail, not to commit mistakes during one season.”
Hart, who won the Barclay’s Golden Glove last season, tallied 15 clean sheets for English Premier League champions Manchester City in 2011-12, and subsequently established himself as England’s No. 1 goalkeeper.
He’s been on scintillating form for both club and country in 2011-12, and must continue his recent purple patch if England are to advance to the semi-finals at Euro 2012.
Furthermore, Buffon also hailed the likes of Wayne Rooney, John Terry, Steven Gerrard and Ashley Cole, claiming that the quartet know how to win.
Now then, which team will win the clash of the giants on Sunday, 24 June?
Euro 2012 Betting Odds: England v Italy
Match Preview: England v Italy
As previously mentioned, England will take on Italy in the quarter-finals of Euro 2012 at the Kiev Olympic Stadium in Kiev, Ukraine on Sunday.
According to the bookmakers, there is no clear-cut favorite in this one.
In fact, most betting sites are offering odds in the region of 17/10 and 9/5 for both teams, while some sites are favoring Italy ever so slightly.
The two European giants have met on 22 occasions in the past, with Italy notching nine wins to England’s seven.
The Italians have won both encounters against England in major tournaments, albeit those wins came in Euro 1980 and the 1990 World Cup. Additionally, the Azzurri are 6-2-1 in their last nine matches against the Three Lions.
All things considered, history is certainly on Italy’s side heading into Sunday’s match.
Players to Watch: England v Italy
Wayne Rooney, who marked his return to the England starting XI with the match-winning goal against Ukraine, is surely the danger man for Roy Hodgson’s side.
In short, England need a big performance from the Manchester United talisman if they want to proceed to the semi-finals.
On the other side of the touchline, Manchester City striker Mario Balotelli is the man to watch for Italy.
Balotelli is 15/2 to score first against England on Sunday.
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