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Roberto Mancini leaves door open for Gianluigi Buffon Italy return

Mancini leaves door open for Buffon Italy return
© Reuters
Italy boss Roberto Mancini hints that he has not ruled out return to the national team for Gianluigi Buffon.

Italy boss Roberto Mancini has hinted towards the possibility of a return to the national team for Gianluigi Buffon.

The 41-year-old last featured for the Azzurri during a 2-0 friendly defeat to Argentina in March 2018 ahead of announcing his retirement soon after.

Buffon, a celebrated figure of the game, made 176 appearances for the national team across 21 years, winning the World Cup in 2006.

Reflecting on the possibility of a farewell appearance, Mancini told Rai Sports: "It was the president's idea and I agreed with him. It would be great if we could make it happen.

"As for whether it'll be at the Euros, we'll see."

Mancini's side secured qualification for Euro 2020 this month with wins over Greece and Liechtenstein.

The boss has made considerable changes to the squad since Italy failed to reach the World Cup for the first time in 60 years following a playoff defeat to Sweden, with only one player from that starting XI in 2017 - Leonardo Bonucci - featuring in a recent 2-0 win over Greece.

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