October 12th, 2011Italy keeper Gianluigi Buffon has hailed AC Milan striker Antonio Cassano as “the soul” of the national team following his superb performance in the victory over Northern Ireland last night.
Cassano bagged a superb brace in his side’s 3-0 win in Pescara in the Italians’ final Euro 2012 qualifier, helping to ensure Cesare Prandelli’s men ended the campaign unbeaten with just two goals conceded.
After the game, the Juventus stopper was full of praise for the Bari-born front man.
“Cassano scored two wonderful goals, but that’s nothing new,” he said. “It’s hard to see him score an ugly goal. Cassano is the soul of this squad. Every now and then he goes off road. We are like the class and he is the extra student who comes in and out, while we try to focus.”
Italy had already qualified for next year’s tournament in Ukraine and Poland before last night’s match, but Buffon was cautious about his side’s chances of taking home the trophy.
“We have grown rapidly, but at the moment Spain, Germany and Holland are in front, above all in terms of self-belief. We are a new power and will see how we go when we get to Euro 2012.”