Poor Goalkeeping Sinks Italy

June 25, 2010 at 4:27 am | Posted in World Cup 2010 | 2 Comments

Goalkeepers in football are underrated.  The fact is, confidence in football starts at the back, with the goalkeeper.  Gigi Buffon is, in my view, the world’s best.  He has all of the tools which make a superb goalkeeper with a perfect keeper’s build, fantastic hands, and quick reflexes.  As a boy Buffon idolized Thomas N’kono, Cameroon’s keeper in the ’82 and ’90 World Cups.  He is the proverbial “cat”,  pulling off the kind of saves most keepers can only dream of.  One such save from France’s genius Zidane saved the 2006 World Cup final for Italy.  Gigi’s injury in the first match against Paraguay put him out of the second half of that game and out of the rest of the world cup.

His replacement looked like he just graduated from high school.  Goalkeepers mature with age, and Marchetti is still young in goalkeeping years at 27.  He looked small in the net.  Italy’s problem this year was knitting its aging stars with younger players.  Buffon was a key ingredient to the task of uniting the team with confidence, and when he was gone, the team’s confidence fell apart.

In my view if Gigi Buffon was in the team, Italy would have progressed.  The first goal scored by Slovakia would have been saved by Buffon, and the third would have been saved by Buffon as well.  Marchetti did not organize his defence well, whereas Buffon would have bossed the team from the back.  Poor Marchetti, he must be crushed by the loss, because much of the blame for Italy’s failure must be on poor goalkeeping.

What a shame that such a great goalkeeper as Buffon was taken out of the Cup through injury.  Lippi put the blame on himself, showing what a great man he is, but it was not his fault; the one event which killed Italy in 2010 was the injury to its superb keeper Gigi Buffon.



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  1. Don’t forget their almost complete lack of ambition and energy in their first two matches.

    • Well spotted, Brenton. I don’t think Italy would have gone far, but I think they would have gotten to the Round of 16 with Buffon in goal.

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