After Gianluigi Buffon became the most capped European international in history following making his 168th appearance for Italy against Albania.
Before the Kick Off against Albania, the Italy and Juventus goalkeeper , 39, who has previously joked he will retire when he is 65, was giving little away about his future plans after arriving in Palermo.
“As far as I’m concerned, it will be a great achievement and the only assurance I can give is that there will not be another thousand,” he joked.
We have great respect for Albania and that is not just rhetoric,” Buffon added. “In the last two years they have done very well and have played in the European Championship.
“I am glad the smaller teams like Albania have improved. The battles are more beautiful and balanced.”
That ten-minute stoppage in play wasn’t enough to rain on Buffon’s parade, as he racked up the 439th clean sheet of his career. He holds the Serie A record for the longest time without conceding a goal (974 consecutive minutes). That record was achieved across a run of 12 matches last season between January 10 and March 20 and tonight, the legendary Italian shot stopper recorded his 58th clean sheet for Italy, on what was the occasion of his 168th cap.
The visitors nearly grabbed a first-minute lead when Sokol Cikalleshi shot across the face of goal while Odise Roshi was not far wide with a long-range effort.
It was a hair-raising start for Italy but they survived to take a 12th minute lead when Andrea Belotti was pushed by Migjen Basha in the area and De Rossi, undisturbed by the firecrackers, converted confidently.
Albania continued to look threatening and Roshi got clear of his marker but shot weakly at Buffon, the only save the 39-year-old had to make in his landmark game.
The Russian-based midfielder had another chance just before halftime when the ball came to him in the penalty area but he curled his shot over the bar.
Italy took a firmer grip on the game after the interruption and Antonio Candreva was denied on the hour when Albania’s debutant goalkeeper Thomas Strakosha saved at his feet.
Immobile wrapped up the points when he met Davide Zappacosta’s long, looping cross with a firm header at the far post to in the 71st minute.