By 90Min
December 23, 2017

Juventus and Italy goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon has returned to talk about his national team's failure to qualify for the 2018 World Cup in an emotional interview with German magazine Der Spiegel. 

The 39-year-old had his eyes full of tears back in November, when his Azzurri side could not score a decisive goal during a game with Sweden, and saw their dreams to go to Russia next summer fade away. 

Buffon had announced earlier this year that this would have been his last adventure with the Italian team and he would have stepped down from his international duties at the end of the World Cup. 

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The Juventus goalkeeper has made 175 appearances for Italy and has won the World Cup under Marcello Lippi in 2006.

But now that his role has finished in advance, the Italian has confessed to being still in pain (via Gazzetta dello Sport): "I will regret not qualifying for the World Cup for all my life.

"We have ruined so many kids' dreams of having their hearts beating fast during a World Cup event," he also added. 

Throughout his career, Buffon has disputed several games against arch-rivals Germany, as he claimed that those clashes will be the ones he will miss playing the most: "I feel like a soldier at the service of my team and my country.

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Wear the passion. Wear the Azzurro. #NewLevels

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"It is very likely that I will stop this year, but I will always be available to help Juventus and the National team."

Buffon also commented on Germany's talismanic goalkeeper Manuel Neuer, which he met several times on and off the pitch: "He is one of the best ones, both with the hands and the feet. The way he interprets a game is extraordinary, his reflexes are excellent." 

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