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"I thought Marco and Trap were taking the mick" | Hunt on Buffon asking for his shirt

Thom Malone
Thom Malone

18:30 1 Apr 2020

Stephen Hunt's trophy for always playing well against Italy is a true collectors' item, and he didn't even ask for it - a jersey from Gianluigi Buffon.
Stephen and Noel Hunt joined Off The Ball on Tuesday to look back at their time playing football together.
Inevitably the subject of Italy came up, but the story of getting Buffon's jersey will take some topping.

Stephen Hunt says he has fond memories playing the Italians from his time in a green shirt.
"I always played well against Italy," said the Waterford man, but on this occasion he had an unlikely reason for playing so well against the Azurri.
"I got a bang on the head from a Pirlo free-kick after 12 minutes," the impact of the incident left the player showing signs of concussion. That didn't stop Hunt from having one of his best games for the Republic of Ireland.

'Must have done something right..'

 Was he on playing on autopilot? Hunt reckons he was just playing with no fear - relaxed, even.
"I remember taking on players and going past players," although he claims not to know the score.
"Whatever it was against Italy, I always played well against Italy, my level of intensity (lifted)."
That consistent performance level didn't go unnoticed by one of the all-time greats of the game, Gianluigi Buffon.
"So much so, In my last game, Buffon asked me for my shirt. I can’t have done badly against Italy if he’s asking me for my shirt."
"I remember coming in (to the changing room) in Liege and was told Buffon was asking for my shirt, I thought Marco and Trap were taking the mickey!
"No, they said, they were being serious.
"Buffon came in and asked for my shirt, the boys thought he was taking the mickey and so did I to be honest."
"We ended up swapping shirts and going from there. Saying goodbye to each other at the airport as we jetted off on our private jets."
Hunt admits it's a "nice memory" but Buffon hasn't made the cut in Hunt's 'Hall of Fame' in his games room in Ireland.
The former Ireland winger might not have inducted Buffon just yet, but he is fully aware, who is a bigger deal.
"Everyone will remember Buffon, not sure if everyone will remember Stephen Hunt."

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Giovanni Trapattoni Ireland Ireland V Italy Noel Hunt Paddy Power Stephen Hunt

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