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Boateng fit to play - Neuer versus Buffon

Four days ahead of the EURO 2016 quarter-final between Germany and Italy, Joachim Löw has said FCB defender Jérôme Boateng will be fit to play for his country. “It won’t be a problem,” the national team coach announced on Tuesday at the Évian-les-Bains training base. Just as in Germany’s final group stage fixture against Northern Ireland, Boateng was substituted due to a calf injury before the end of the world champions’ 3-0 Round of 16 victory over Slovakia. “It was good we brought him off as a precaution,” Löw commented.

Buffon: Neuer is exceptional

The Germany-Italy clash is also a head-to-head between two goalkeeping giants. The Italians have 38-year-old Gianluigi Buffon, four-time World’s Best Goalkeeper, a world champion and seven-time Italian champion. His counterpart for Germany is the 30-year-old Manuel Neuer, three-time World’s Best Goalkeeper, a world champion, Champions League winner and four-time German champion. Neuer is undoubtedly one of the best in the game at the present time, Buffon said admiringly: “Neuer is younger than me and an exceptional keeper. I’m too old for tournaments like this.”