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Buffon: 'Italy can go further than England and Uruguay'

Gianluigi Buffon Italy

Legendary Italian goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon insists that the Azzurri are the best-prepared side in Group D for this summer’s World Cup.

The 36-year-old believes that the Italians are better equipped than England, and is targeting the quarter-finals as a minimum requirement.

England face Italy in their World Cup opener on June 14 in Manaus, and the Italian captain believes his side will progress out of a tough group that also includes Uruguay and Costa Rica.

“At this moment, Italy are the team who can think about going the furthest compared with England and Uruguay – at least at the start of the tournament.

“The favourites are Brazil, Spain, Germany and Argentina. We are slightly further back.

"From the quarter-finals onwards we can say it has been a good World Cup and a positive tournament. But naturally you are never fully satisfied. I don’t feel as if I can say today with certainty that we can reach the final,” Buffon added.

Italy went out in the group stages four years ago in South Africa for the first time at a World Cup since 1974, but Buffon insists that they should get out of the group this year.

“I think that our national team has become one that is reliable and that manages to win the matches it should win. Sometimes we manage to cause surprises in the games in which we don’t start as favourites.”

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