Gigi Buffon glad Italy are being ‘underestimated’ at Euro 2024

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Gianluigi Buffon believes it’s a good thing that Italy are being ‘underestimated’ ahead of Euro 2024. 

Despite heading to Germany as defending champions, many are writing off the Azzurri’s chances at this summer’s tournament.

Italy failed to qualify for the World Cup for the second time in a row in 2022, while they finished six points behind England and level with Ukraine in their qualifying group for this tournament, with two of their four victories coming against bottom side Malta.

As a result, Italy find themselves behind the likes of England, France, Spain, Portugal and Germany among the tournament favourites.

Buffon happy for Italy to go under the radar

Italy being overlooked is no problem for Buffon.

The legendary goalkeeper — who is part of manager Luciano Spalletti’s national team staff — believes being underestimated only makes Italy more dangerous, as was the case at Euro 2020.

“I think this Nazionale has a lot of value and it is underappreciated for what it can do, both as a team and as individuals,” Buffon said (via Football Italia).

“Every now and then, being underestimated at major tournaments can be a good thing for Italy and I hope that’ll be the case this time too.”

Of course, another potential reason behind many writing off Italy is the fact they’ve been drawn into the tournament’s ‘group of death’ facing the prospect of battling against Spain, Croatia and Albania for a place in the knockout rounds.

Italy begin with a must-win fixture against group outsiders Albania before clashing with fellow heavyweights Spain and Croatia in their next two matches.

“It is certainly the toughest group of the Euros, but it will be tough for our opponents too. It is a strength to know that the other teams fear us, as we are considered among the potential winners,” Buffon said.

“Our history shows that anyone facing us will have to be fully concentrated to bring home the three points. At the end of the day, we are the trophy holders, even if we failed to qualify for the World Cup. Everyone knows they’ll have to work extra hard to beat us.”

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