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Italy To Play England Without Goalkeeper And Captain Gianluigi Buffon

36-year-old goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon has been ruled out of tonight's match against England after tweaking his ankle training Friday night in Manaus. Italian coach Cesare Prandelli initially downplayed the injury—"It is nothing serious but, yes, he left training early and, yes, is having treatment."—but on Saturday Buffon revealed on Twitter that he would not be playing tonight.


The message, translated, reads as follows:

"Hello everyone … life is beautiful and I am still in debt to it … neither a game nor a World Cup missed would make me change my mind.

"There are so many ways to be important, even if you are not a starter on the pitch … so … go on Salvatore … come on my magical guys … FORZA ITALY, my great love!"

At least he's upbeat about it! Replacing Buffon—who is easily the most capped player on the squad with 140 international appearances—will be Salvatore Sirigu. Italy also will be without several other would-be starters for the 6:00 pm kickoff against England on ESPN, including defender Mattia De Sciglio and midfielder Ricardo Montolivo.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

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