TEARS rolled down the cheeks of Gianluigi Buffon but the legendary Italy goalkeeper said there were “no regrets” despite the Azzurri missing a golden chance to beat Germany.
“The tears are for my
disappointment. It was a magical experience that revived something in all of us and our fans, but it’s come to an end,” an emotional
Buffon said after Germany’s 6-5 penalty shootout win.
Their quarterfinal finished 1-1 in regulation time and neither team scored in extratime.
Italy spurned the chance to clinch their last four spot when Graziano Pelle hit a pitiful effort wide of the post as the Germans misfired.
That, and other misses, proved costly for Italy later on, as the
penalty shootout went to a total of 18 kicks.
After Manchester United
defender Matteo Darmian saw his shot saved by Manuel Neuer, Jonas Hector stepped up to beat Buffon and send World Cup holders
Germany into the last four.
“It’s a shame. When a team
(Germany) misses three penalties out of five and you still don’t win it becomes complicated,” said
“Sometimes it goes your way, other times it doesn’t. But that’s all a big part of sport, and you have to accept it.
“We wanted to leave without any regrets and that’s what we will do. We made our people proud and for this we can’t be sorry.”
Juventus goalkeeper Buffon, 38, indicated the defeat would not
hasten his international retirement.
“Personally, I’m fine. I still get fired up by these games and I feel I’ve still got something to give to this squad,” said Buffon, who
believes there is also a big future for Italy’s young team.
“I’m happy and proud to have worked alongside this squad.
“They (Germany) deserved
victory more than us, but this game will serve the lads well,” he added. — AFP