Buffon lauds mentality
Italy have a special ability to achieve beyond their means in times of difficulty, according to captain and goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon.
History is on the brink of repeating itself in the most curious of manners as the Azzurri prepare to tackle world champions Spain in the Euro 2012 final here on Sunday.
Italy are just one win away from landing a major title and once again in the wake of a match-fixing scandal back home.
Six years ago following the outbreak of Calciopoli, Italy went on to win the World Cup.
Even before that, 30 years ago, the Azzurri won the 1982 World Cup just a couple of years after the Totonero affair, which almost deprived them of star striker Paolo Rossi, who served a two-year suspension for his involvement.
And now, once again, following the Calcioscommesse football-betting incident, Italy are on the brink of success.
Buffon says it's a peculiarity to the Italian mentality that allows their players to bring out their best under such circumstances.
"There's something special that's for sure. After all the gossip, Italians have a sense of responsibility and respect for the shirt that goes beyond our limits," he said.
"If you look to our history and our nation we don't always succeed but we bring together a compact group who think in an equivcoal way and that's our strength."