Italy football team meets president Napolitano

Italy football team meets president Napolitano

Published Nov. 15, 2011 10:18 a.m. ET

The Italian football team met with President Giorgio Napolitano Tuesday as part of the celebrations to mark 150 years of Italian unification.

Italy captain Gianluigi Buffon presented his teammates and coach Cesare Prandelli to Napolitano at the President's palace.

''We are a population and a nation that is still young and sometimes that makes us slip up,'' Buffon said. ''This population needs the support of a political class which is cohesive, cultured and responsible.

''We feel represented by you, as a clean and transparent public figure. We're waiting for answers to start again after really great difficulties. We will look to do our part on the pitch and to honor Italy's name, always and forever.''


Italy is in the midst of a financial crisis which forced Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi to resign on Saturday.

''Buffon is a goalkeeper, but with these words he's scored a goal,'' Napolitano said.

Prandelli said before Friday's 2-0 victory over Poland that he was extra keen to do well in that match and this week's friendly against Uruguay to provide some happiness to the Italian people.

At the end of the meeting Buffon and Prandelli presented Napolitano with an Italy shirt with the No. 1 and ''Presidente'' on the back.