Gianluigi Buffon profile
By Adam Marshall
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Gianluigi Buffon forms the last line of defence for the Azzurri and is widely regarded as the best goalkeeper in the world.
But the Juventus keeper heads into the World Cup after being implicated in the scandal which is currently engulfing the Italian champions.
Ç£Buffon was extraordinary, just like the rest of the team."
Buffon made his debut in November in 1995 for Parma against Milan and went on to make 165 appearances for the club.
His highlight with the Gialloblu was the 1998/98 season, when Parma won the Coppa Italia, Italian Super Cup and Uefa Cup in an impressive haul.
Following his achievements, he earned himself a £33 million move to Italian giants Juventus, an impressive transfer fee for a a striker, let alone a goalkeeper.
In his first two seasons Juventus won back-to-back scudettos, whilst also reaching the final of the UEFA Champions League in the second season.
For Italy, Buffon represented his country in the 1996 European Under-21 Championship, which the Italians won. His senior debut came against Russia in 1997.
Buffon did not play in Euro 2000 due to injury, but was first choice for the 2002 World Cup. At Euro 2004 Buffon was an ever-present and conceded four goals.
Any chance Italy have of winning the World Cup will be greatly enhanced if Buffon and the defence have a good tournament.