Buffon backs Conte to succeed

Gianluigi Buffon is confident "perfectionist" Antonio Conte is the right man to get Italy back on track following a disappointing World Cup.

Conte was named as Cesare Prandelli's successor last month and will take charge of his country for the first time in a friendly against the Netherlands in Bari on Thursday.

Buffon knows all about Conte's qualities, having worked under the 45-year-old coach during his successful spell at Juventus.

And the veteran goalkeeper is in no doubt that Conte has all the ingredients to be a success on the international stage.

"The coach is a perfectionist, a coach and a man who believes in discipline and rules," Buffon told reporters.

"In a time in history like this I think he was the only one who in a short time could have the strength to drag us back up.

"I see him as we saw him at Juve - very clear ideas, transmitting concepts without any possibility of being misunderstood.

"I believe that our players need this type of guidance. I see him as really well, calm, energetic, at the right place."