Euro Cup

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Euro Cup 1333783 1680 Gianluigi Buffon - Italy National Team goalkeeper 31066587 Ready and willing Ready+and+willing Euro Cup

Widely considered as one of the most dominant and succesful goalkeepers of all time, Buffon will lead Italy's national football team in Euro 2012 this summer. Fresh off a Serie A title with Juventus, the 34-year-old captain figures to play a major role in Italy's plans of advancing past Group C foes Croatia, Spain and Ireland.

 

Well over 100 national team appearances in his brilliant career, Buffon helped Italy capture the 2006 World Cup title and will look to help Cesare Prandelli's side recapture their international form. Here's a special look back of "Gigi's" illustrious moments with the Azzurri.

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Euro Cup 1333783 1680 Gianluigi Buffon - Italy National Team goalkeeper 31066588 Special mentor Special+mentor Euro Cup

Italy's Gianluigi Buffon (L) shows off his impressive ball skills to fellow Italian goalkeeper Morgan De Sanctis (R).

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Euro Cup 1333783 1680 Gianluigi Buffon - Italy National Team goalkeeper 31066586 Giant leap Giant+leap Euro Cup

Italy's Buffon (green) makes a keen save over French defender Jean Alain Boumsong (2) during Group C play in Euro 2008 at Letzigrund Stadium. Italy defeated France 2-0.

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Euro Cup 1333783 1680 Gianluigi Buffon - Italy National Team goalkeeper 31039159 Target practice Target+practice Euro Cup

Known for his steady handwork in front of net, Buffon attends a team training session on May 26, 2010 in Sestriere, near Turin, Italy.

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Euro Cup 1333783 1680 Gianluigi Buffon - Italy National Team goalkeeper 31034968 Mop up duty Mop+up+duty Euro Cup

Germany's Mario Goetze (R) vies for the ball against Italy's goalkeeper Buffon (L) in a friendly match on February 9, 2011 in Dortmund. The match ended in a 1-1 draw.

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Euro Cup 1333783 1680 Gianluigi Buffon - Italy National Team goalkeeper 31034971 Full attention Full+attention Euro Cup

Italy's undisputed number one goalkeeper prepares for an Italian training session at Spor Center La Sciorba on February 27, 2012 in Genoa, Italy.

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Euro Cup 1333783 1680 Gianluigi Buffon - Italy National Team goalkeeper 31039157 Special wink Special+wink Euro Cup

Buffon waves to supporters as Italy secures their spot in the European Championship this summer.
 

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Euro Cup 1333783 1680 Gianluigi Buffon - Italy National Team goalkeeper 31034979 Thumbs up Thumbs+up Euro Cup

With 113 caps, Buffon's appearance total easily outdistances that of the next-most senior Azzurri-member, Andrea Pirlo (82 caps). Italy will rely on Buffon's experience on net if they hope to advance deep in Euro 2012.

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Euro Cup 1333783 1680 Gianluigi Buffon - Italy National Team goalkeeper 31039154 20/20 vision 20%2F20+vision Euro Cup

Buffon became Italy's permanent first choice goalkeeper during the Euro 2000 qualifying campaign and was due to start in goal during the finals. An injury against Norway however, ruled him out of Italy's opening match against Turkey.

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Euro Cup 1333783 1680 Gianluigi Buffon - Italy National Team goalkeeper 31039156 When it rains, it pours When+it+rains%2C+it+pours Euro Cup

Italy were eliminated in the first round in the 2010 World Cup, finishing last place in Group F. The Azzurri failed to win a single game in the World Cup finals, and became the third nation to be eliminated in the first round while holding the World Cup crown (i.e. Brazil 1966, France 2002). Buffon suffered a nerve injury that forced him to sit out of Italy's group matches.

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Euro Cup 1333783 1680 Gianluigi Buffon - Italy National Team goalkeeper 31039160 Close up Close+up Euro Cup

Gianluigi Buffon poses for photographers prior to Italy's soccer match between Poland in Wroclaw. Buffon's Italy will be one of 16 teams competing in Euro 2012 kicking off June 8, 2012 in Warsaw and ending with the final on July 1 in Kiev.
 

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Euro Cup 1333783 1680 Gianluigi Buffon - Italy National Team goalkeeper 31039158 Strength and honor Strength+and+honor Euro Cup

Gianluigi Buffon of Italy attends a team training session on May 26, 2010 in Sestriere, near Turin, Italy. Recently, Italian news agencies have claimed that the Juventus goalkeeper made over €1.5 million from a Parma-based tobacconist, which also serves as a betting shop in Italy. Buffon has since denied the accusations.
 

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