Italy: The 4 Best Backup Options to Gianluigi Buffon

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Italy: The 4 Best Backup Options to Gianluigi Buffon
Valerio Pennicino/Getty Images
Gianluigi Buffon cradles the ball in Italy's September World Cup qualifier

With Halloween falling this week, let's take a look at a situation that will frighten every Italian soccer fan: an injury to Gianluigi Buffon.

Fans of the Azzurri have gone through this harrowing situation before.  At the World Cup in 2010, Buffon injured his back before Italy's opening match and had to be withdrawn at halftime.  The result was abysmal.

Buffon's understudy—whom we'll meet later in this countdown—allowed four goals on five shots on target over the next two games, and the Italians crashed out of the competition.

Buffon has been relatively healthy since returning from that injury, but the Italian captain is 35 years old now.  His form has been spottier than usual, and even though Cesare Prandelli said last week that his spot as Italy's No. 1 is secure, it may be prudent to evaluate who might play behind Italy's most-capped player.

Let's take a look at the four best options to be Buffon's understudy come the World Cup this summer, in ascending order of likelihood to be Prandelli's No. 2.

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