Originally posted on Fox Soccer  |  Last updated 6/8/12
Clearly angered with his treatment from the Italian media after being linked to a match-fixing scandal, Italy goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon has made an emotional appeal to fans ahead of the team's European Championship opener against Spain on Sunday. Reports surfaced last week regarding large payments from Buffon to the owner of a tobacco shop that is also a betting parlor. The Italy captain has not been placed under investigation and is not accused of any wrongdoing, but the revelations still shook the Azzurri camp. Since arriving in Poland, Buffon has not spoken with the media. Instead, he took his message directly to the fans on Friday. ''Your support and affection will be decisive and it would be the strongest signal against those who want to separate us and create divisions between us and you,'' Buffon wrote on his Facebook page. ''Start thinking with your own head, people, don't be fooled by those whose job it is to stir up trouble! We're ready to battle, with you by our side...
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