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Buffon: ‘I was starstruck in Riva’s presence, he was authoritative without speaking’

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Legendary former Italy, Juventus and Parma goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon has paid his respects to the late Gigi Riva, who died in hospital in Cagliari on Monday.

Buffon, the Italy nationwide staff’s delegation chief as of August, spoke to Sky Sport Italia on Tuesday, the place he mentioned that having Riva within the camp in the course of the triumphant 2006 World Cup marketing campaign ‘impressed quite a lot of confidence’ within the group.

In a touching tribute, Buffon additionally mentioned that Riva was ‘authoritative’ with out having to talk.

“The primary time I heard about him was in tales from my father and mom. The footballing choices highlighted the greatness of a champion and of a person,” he mentioned.

“I bear in mind assembly with Gigi Riva. I used to be starstruck in his presence. He was authoritative with out talking. I used to be fortunate sufficient to have been near him on quite a few events.”

Riva had additionally accompanied the Italy nationwide staff squad as a part of Marcello Lippi’s employees for the 2006 World Cup, which Italy famously received after an action-packed closing in opposition to France at Berlin’s Olympiastadion.

“In 2006, Gigi Riva was a decisive determine together with (Marcello) Lippi. In that state of affairs, realizing that you’ve got two cardinals like them was an amazing consolation and impressed quite a lot of confidence in us.

“I bear in mind our embrace once we received, we hugged one another in a novel type of manner, it was the closing of a full circle.

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“Gigi entered folks’s hearts for the alternatives he made. He was constant, all the time, and in each state of affairs. Reaching the outcomes he did, I believe that’s each human’s ambition.

“What he did is irreplicable as a result of soccer has modified, the priorities of footballers and golf equipment have adjustments. He lived how he wished, in freedom because of Sardinia.”