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Marotta backs Buffon after Spain blunder

Juventus CEO and general manager Giuseppe Marotta has backed under-fire goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon after a rare error for Italy against Spain attracted criticism.

The 38-year-old rushed out of his goal in the 55th minute of Italy's World Cup qualifier and missed a clearance, allowing Vitolo to run through and slot into an empty net.

Italy did manage to rescue a late point through Daniele De Rossi's penalty, but that did not stop Buffon becoming an unfamiliar target for critics.

Marotta was not one of them, however.

"The error against Spain cannot erase the good things done by Gigi [Buffon] in his career," he told Mediaset. "Buffon has written pages in the history of Italian football that can never be erased. 

"In addition to being a great professional, he is also an example for all the young people who come to football.  

"Some headlines are purely meant for criticism."

Meanwhile Claudio Marchisio is nearing his return for Juve after a long lay-off with a cruciate knee ligament injury and will be a welcome addition, but Marotta thinks Juve coped well without him due to the competitive nature of their squad.

"His absence meant a lot because we speak of a modern player who is able to play more than one role," he added. 

"But if we consider the quality of our squad then it is clear that without him we can still obtain excellent results, as we are doing. The Juventus squad is competitive enough to make up for any absence."