Creative Soccer Culture

Framed #67 | Italy v Macedonia

Charting the moment Gianluigi Buffon became the first goalkeeper to debut an outfield Italian National Team shirt, the Stadio Olimpico Grande Torino was the venue for our latest photo series that picks up the party from pitch side.

No players have been where Gianluigi Buffon has. An international supremo and icon whose status transcends several generations, he is truly unique. To celebrate what could be his record breaking sixth World Cup in Russia next summer, PUMA gave him the honour of becoming the first Italy goalkeeper to wear Azzurri blue as his side took on Macedonia at the Stadio Olimpico.

On paper, it was a fixture Italy would be expected to dominate, but despite the 1-1 result putting an end to their hopes of automatic qualification, it's a playoff spot that they're staring at head on. Their World Cup dream has not been squandered, though the journey so far may be seen as a little lethargic.

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Another great servant for the Italian side, it was Giorgio Chiellini who gave the Azzuri a first half lead, though after failing to convert any further opportunities Macedonia got their just deserves with 13 minutes from time as Aleksandar Trajkovski levelled it up. Carrying out underdog duties with solid form, Macedonia held on and gave their fans a performance to be pleased with and the points were shared.

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You have to hand it to Buffon. One step closer to an unquestionably impressive sixth World Cup despite a potential playoff hurdle, his moment as one of football's all time heroes should be celebrated. The new home shirt was unveiled in Torino last week and it is a launch PUMA can be proud of and with the fresh FIGC badge grabbing a slice of the headlines too.

On the pitch, Italy will now travel to Albania for their last group game which will see them wanting sign off this stage qualification with a strong performance as they start building serious momentum for the playoff task in hand. Not ideal but not the end. Forza Azzuri as they say.

Photography by Carlo Furgeri for SoccerBible.


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