Buffon set to return for Italy

Italy's goalkeeping legend Gianluigi Buffon looks set for a return to international action in friendlies against England and Argentina next month, interim national coach Luigi di Biagio said yesterday.

"I spoke to him, he will probably be part of the group in March, a player like him cannot stop after Sweden... Gigi will probably be there in March," said di Biagio.

Buffon, 40, announced his retirement, along with Giorgio Chiellini, Andrea Barzagli and Daniele de Rossi, after Italy's 1-0 aggregate play-off loss to Sweden at the San Siro last November, as the Azzurri failed to reach the World Cup for the first time since 1958.

Di Biagio said that Chiellini will also be back next month, but Barzagli and de Rossi are not keen to return.

Italy will meet Argentina and England in Manchester and London on March 23 and 27 respectively. - AFP