Buffon believes Italy can aim high at World Cup

Italy captain Gianluigi Buffon believes they have the quality and the character to reach the latter stages of the 2014 FIFA World Cup.

Cesare Prandelli's men appear to have been drawn in one of the toughest groups for next month's tournament in Brazil, and will face England in their opening game in Manaus on June 14 before taking on Costa Rica and Uruguay.

Italy were eliminated in the group stages of the 2010 World Cup, but responded by reaching the final of the UEFA European Championships in 2012.

Goalkeeper Buffon was also part of the side that won the 2006 World Cup and the 36-year-old is confident Italy can progress deep into the competition this time around.

"A solid, well organised team that will never lose games on its own," Buffon replied when asked by Gazzetta dello Sport what to expect from Italy.

"It will be tough to beat us all, without exception. Against us you sweat, because this group does not give anything to anyone on the field.

"We have the technical and moral qualities to aim high at the World Cup."

Buffon helped Juventus clinch a third consecutive Serie A title this season and is pleased with the form he has displayed since undergoing back surgery in 2010.

"For three years I have been giving answers very important to myself and to those (who) doubted, appropriately, a full recovery," Buffon added.

"At 36 I'm still here, at a high level, and it is a great feeling."

The former Parma man's contract at Juve expires in 2015 and he has no desire to leave the Turin club.

"I'm fine in Turin," he explained. "And the relationship with chairman Andrea Agnelli is nice and fair.

"He has already shown the willingness to support my every decision. So everything will be very clear."


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