Buffon keen to avoid penalties
By Nadia Carminati. Last Updated: January 1, 1970 1:00am
Italy goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon has revealed that he hates penalty shoot-outs and wants to avoid the lottery of spot-kicks at this World Cup.
Like many keepers, Buffon used to be happy to admit that he enjoyed the opportunity to become his team's hero, but his feelings were radically changed by the UEFA Champions League final in 2003.
Juventus lost to Milan on penalties that year, with Rossoneri striker Andrei Shevchenko scoring the decisive penalty past a despairing Buffon.
Shevchenko will once again line up against Buffon when Ukraine take on the Azzurri in Friday's second quarter final, but the Italian is hoping that his side can settle the game in 90 minutes.
"When I was a child I used to dream of ending matches on penalties," he reflected.
"But after the Champions League loss in Manchester against Milan, I've changed my mind.
"From that moment on I have hoped to avoid this situation."
Despite Shevchenko's presence Buffon is confident that Italy can overcome Ukraine and go on to win the World Cup.
"Sheva is a champion but we do not have Ukraine," he urged.
"Our aim is to get to the final and if we achieve that everything will have been worthwhile because it has not been easy.
"Perhaps the wind is blowing with us after the win over Australia."