In this world cup, Italy seems to be an underdog.The June 19, 2010, By Rodney Eriksen
In this World Cup, it seems the underdogs this time around are none other than Italy, country where football is almost part of the country’s politics.;
After a crushing loss in their first game, and when you thought Italy could not suffer any more, goalkeeper-legend Gianluigi Buffon has been diagnosed with a spinal herniation. With short term recovery looking highly unlikely, it appears that the handsome buck will have to not only miss his country’s game against New Zealand, but will in fact have to miss the entire World Cup.
Buffon has been with the Italian national team since 1997 and has been part of every single major international competition since then except for Euro 2000, which he missed due to a broken arm.
Four years ago, Italy won the World Cup, and one highly contributing factor was none other than Buffon himself. Italy won that World Cup with one of the best defensive records ever, due in no small part to the great ball catching of Buffon.
Buffon’s replacement, Federico Marchetti is good, but he is no Buffon. He plays for Cagliari - not Inter, Milan or Juve. Morgan De Sanctis, and Salvatore Sirigu if he is given clearance by FIFA to step in, are the other two goalkeepers but they will be behind Marchetti in the pecking order. None of the three are top class. Or experienced. Or well known. Or well endowed. Or legends. Buffon is all of the above.