Juventus great Buffon not blaming 'extraordinary' Conte for taking Inter job

Gianluigi Buffon does not share the bitterness some Juventus fans have about Antonio Conte's move to Inter.

Antonio Conte and Gianluigi Buffon in Italy's dugout at Euro 2016.   -  Getty Images

Juventus and Inter could well wage a title battle this season but Gianluigi Buffon holds no animosity towards former boss Antonio Conte for crossing the Derby d'Italia divide.

Conte took charge of Inter in May and guided the Nerazzurri to six straight victories in a blistering start to the new Serie A season.

The winning streak came to an end in a sobering 2-1 defeat to Juve, the team the former Italy boss captained and coached with distinction for a combined period of more than 15 years.

Ahead of the meeting, Conte hit out at the "ignorant" Juve fans who campaigned for his star on the club's Walk of Fame to be removed as a result of his switch to their bitter rivals.

"He was my team-mate and my captain at Juventus and then he was my manager for Juve and Italy," Buffon said at the Festival dello Sport.

"I know what type of person and professional he is, that's why I cannot blame him for any decision he takes in his career.

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"He is an extremely passionate professional and he is always fair to the team and the players he works with.

"He is an extraordinary football teacher and puts all of himself into what he does. He cannot sleep at night if his team doesn't perform as well as he wants them to."

Juve's victory over Conte's side at San Siro saw the champion reclaim top spot going into the international break.

The match was billed as a test of Inter's title credentials and while Maurizio Sarri's men succeeded in restating their authority, veteran goalkeeper Buffon believes the manner of the win was worth more than three points.

"I don't think the victory over Inter had a huge importance [in terms of the title race] but I believe instead it was massively significant for the way we got the result," he said.

"In this case, we can say the way we played to win the game was more important than the victory itself."

Juve has attempted to cultivate a more fluid, positive approach since Sarri replaced Massimiliano Allegri, resulting in six wins and a draw from its opening seven Serie A matches.

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