sport

Italy play down Buffon injury

Italy’s coach Cesare Prandelli is giving little away regarding the injury sustained by Gianluigi Buffon during training ahead of their World Cup opener against England in Manaus on Saturday.

The veteran goalkeeper suffered a scare on Friday but Prandelli did not appear overly concerned regarding Italy's No 1.

He said: "He twisted his ankle very, very lightly and he's being treated. It's a minor strain. He's undergoing therapy."

The 36-year-old Buffon, who collected a World Cup winners' medal eight years ago, will be playing in his fifth finals tournament. Italy's reserve goalkeepers are Salvatore Sirigu and Mattia Perin.

As for their Group D opponents England, Prandelli added: "We will be facing a different squad."We know they are very organised and they don't count only on their physical skills and personality but also their technical skills - especially in attack."

Regarding the pitch that has suffered some heavy criticism in recent days, the Italian went on:"I had been told the pitch was in very bad condition but actually I think it's in very good condition, not exceptional but good."