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‘End of a wonderful chapter’ – De Sanctis

Italy’s 2-0 World Cup qualifying win over Malta on Tuesday night was followed by the news that veteran Napoli goalkeeper Morgan De Sanctis had decided to retire from international football.

Speaking to reporters after the game, De Sanctis said: “I’m not sad as this has been a wonderful chapter in my career.

“I’ve managed to parti-cipate in all competitions Italy have entered but I feel the time is right to step aside and give the opportunity to the younger generation.

“I’m leaving behind a united group of players who will surely be in the limelight at the next World Cup... I wish them the best of luck.”

De Sanctis, who celebrated his 36th birthday on Tuesday, has not had many first-team opportunities as he mainly provided cover for Gianluigi Buffon, Italy’s undisputed no.1, but he has no regrets.

“There were times when Gigi (Buffon) was missing so I had my chances,” De Sanctis said.

“I’m satisfied with my achievements and the respect shown by all the members of the Italian national team in all these years.”

De Sciglio’s potential

While De Sanctis ended his international career on Tuesday, the up-and-coming Mattia De Sciglio underlined his immense potential after capping another composed display for Italy with an assist for Mario Balotelli’s second goal.

“I did well to control the ball from (Leonardo) Bonucci and I just had to pass to Mario (Balotelli) who was unmarked in the box,” De Sciglio said.

The Milan full-back set off on a powerful on the left, raced past Edward Herrera and squared the ball to Balotelli who fired home on the stroke of half-time to effectively seal the three points for Cesare Prandelli’s Azzurri.

After drawing with five-times world champions Brazil in a friendly last week, Italy faced modest Malta in Tuesday’s World Cup qualifying match but De Sciglio had no problems motivating himself for the occasion.

“I didn’t have any problems adapting for this game, it was important like all the others because there were three points at stake,” the20-year-old De Sciglio said.

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