Date published: Tuesday 28th November 2017 11:00

Gianluigi Buffon has hinted that he could make a shock return to the Italian national team just a fortnight after retiring from international football.

The goalkeeping legend called time on his 175-cap Italy career when the Azzurri drew 0-0 with Sweden in the second leg of their World Cup playoff match, a result which saw them surprisingly miss out on a place in Russia.

But now the 39-year-old has suggested that it might not be the end of his Italy journey and that he is only “taking a break” from the national team.

“I took a break from the national team. But I could never desert a possible call in the future if needed,” Buffon said at a Serie A awards ceremony in Milan on Monday, via Goal.

“Both for Juventus and for the national team I have always considered myself a soldier.

“Even when I’m 60 I could never turn down any call because I have in me the concept of nation.”

Buffon also commented on the decision of veteran Italy coach Gian Piero Ventura to quit his role as national team boss after the shock aggregate loss to the Swedes.

“Ventura has done the best job he could, but unfortunately we were unable to score in the two games against Sweden,” he added.

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