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Gianluigi Buffon pulls out of Italy squad after Mandzukic collision leaves him with 10 stitches


Legendary goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon has left the Italy squad and will miss the upcoming friendly with Portugal after requiring 10 stitches thanks to a clash with Croatian striker Mario Mandzukic.

The 37-year-old proved he’s still one of the top goalkeepers in the world with a penalty save early in the game on Mandzukic, but the striker later scored and collided with Buffon on the follow-through, spiking him in the knee and causing the goalkeeper to exit the match at halftime t0 get 10 stitches.

“Buffon had a nasty cut to his knee and I needed to put in at least 10 stitches,” Italy’s team doctor Enrico Castellacci told Rai Sport after the game. “That incident occurred during the goal.”

PSG goalkeeper Salvatore Sirigu replaced Buffon at halftime and will likely start in the friendly with Portugal on Tuesday in Geneva. The friendly has been widely criticized as extending the already taxing international summer even further for top players who need rest between league seasons.

Lorenzo De Silvestri also was injured in the match, stretchered off in the 27th minute with what initially appeared to be an ankle injury, but Castellacci confirmed they were concerned about his knee, and that the defender has returned to Genoa for further tests.

Marco Verratti, Andrea Barzagli, and Simone Zaza are already absent from the squad with injuries, while Daniele de Rossi could return for the Portugal friendly.

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