Italy will be without captain Gianluigi Buffon for their epic match against England on Saturday. Buffon confirmed an ankle injury will keep him on the sideline.
The team practiced at the stadium in Manaus late Friday night when Buffon twisted his ankle and could not finish. Buffon is Italy’s go-to man for the past 15 years and was one of the main reasons why they won the 2006 World Cup. His importance showed even more in 2010 when he left in South Africa due to a sciatic nerve problem. Italy exhibited mediocre play in the tournament.
Goalkeeper Salvatore Sirigu will start in goal. He is Paris St. Germain’s top goalkeeper and has eight caps for the national team.
But this is not the only major injury for Italy. Mattia di Sciglio strained his calf in training on Thursday. Fortunately, it is not severe enough to sideline him for the whole tournament, but he will miss the game against England.