Italy captain Gianluigi Buffon has apologised after Italy’s Euro 2016 quarterfinal penalty shootout defeat by Germany on Saturday.
After a 1-1 draw, Goalkeeper Buffon took centre stage as a number of shots were missed by both sides, only for Jonas Hector to eventually convert the winning penalty to secure a 6-5 victory in Bordeaux.
“Everyone has their own reasons to cry,” an emotional Buffon told Rai Sport. “I’m sorry because we deserved it for the group that we are, for what we have made people believe.
“It’s rare for a team to miss three penalties and then that’s still not enough to win.”
It was a bitter end to a match that had reached a 1-1 stalemate after Leonardo Bonucci’s 78th minute penalty conversion cancelled out Mesut Ozil’s earlier goal, to see Germany defeat Italy for the first time in the knockout stages of a major tournament.
Though despite this, Buffon believed his men had done their best and “to the very end gave their last drop of sweat.”
He added: “We gave our soul to follow this dream.”
At 38-years-old, Buffon has said he intends to keep on playing for the Azzurri for as long as possible and hopes to earn a place in the squad of incoming manager Giampiero Ventura, as Italy go in to their 2018 World Cup qualifying campaign.