Juventus manager Massimiliano Allegri has revealed that he overlooked Gianluigi Buffon for his side’s selection during Juve’s 3-2 defeat to Sampdoria on Sunday due to the veteran goalkeeper’s mental state following Italy’s World Cup qualification failure.
Buffon tearfully announced his retirement from the national team moments after the full time whistle on Monday as Gli Azzuri’s fate was sealed for the summer, with one of the most highly decorated footballing teams missing out on the summer tournament for the first time since 1958.
Italy’s failure to break down Sweden, who will be in Russia next June, caused evident to the Parma youth academy graduate of all those years ago, and it has continued to take its toll on the legendary shot stopper, who had not recovered mentally enough to be played in Juve’s starting XI according to his coach.
“They’re getting over the disappointment”, Allegri said following his side’s Serie A defeat on Sunday, as quoted by The Mirror.
“But after 15 days with the national team they spent a notable amount of physical and, above all, mental energy.
“It would have been Buffon’s sixth World Cup and it was a big disappointment. But I found him in form. He had a good reaction.”
It seemed despite his “good reaction” it was not sufficient enough in order to take to the field for Juventus’ defeat, which meant it was former Arsenal goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny who was the man to ship three.
The rather surprising defeat at the hands of Sampdoria leaves Juve now four points behind current Scudetto-chasing leaders Napoli, who continued their unbeaten league run this campaign with a 2-1 win over AC Milan on Saturday.