Italy vs. Paraguay World Cup 2010: Italy Loses Gianluigi Buffon, Ties Paraguay

Thomas FranzCorrespondent IJune 14, 2010

CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA - JUNE 14: Gianluigi Buffon of Italy leaves the pitch as he is substituted during the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa Group F match between Italy and Paraguay at Green Point Stadium on June 14, 2010 in Cape Town, South Africa.  (Photo by Lars Baron/Getty Images)
Lars Baron/Getty Images

The 2010 World Cup may have lost another star tonight.

Gianluigi Buffon, the star goalkeeper for Italy, failed to take the pitch for the second half against Paraguay.

Buffon is widely regarded as the finest goalkeeper in the world, and he joins Michael Ballack, Didier Drogba, and Arjen Robben on the list of superstars whose injuries could deeply affect the 2010 World Cup.

Buffon was reported to have suffered a hamstring injury, and his status for the rest of the tournament is currently unknown.

If Italy plays like it did in the second half of its opening match with Paraguay, the loss of Buffon may not hurt them too terribly.

Italy dominated a majority of the second half after being down a goal at halftime.

Italian midfielder Daniele De Rossi scored off a corner kick when Justo Villar misfired on punching the ball out of the box in the 63rd minute.

Paraguay never challenged Federico Marchetti, the backup goaltender for Italy, and they settled for a draw after leading for most of the game.

Paraguay took the lead in the 39th minute when defender Antolin Alcaraz scored on a header.

Paraguay nearly pulled off a monumental upset of the defending champions. 

The 31st ranked team in the world nearly took down the 5th ranked Italian squad, who will have to regroup quickly if they desire to claim another World Cup title.

By giving up a goal in Monday night's game, Italy has already allowed half of the number of goals scored against them through the entire 2006 tournament.

Although Italy should not have too much trouble with the rest of their group opponents, they will need Buffon to return healthy if they want to contend after pool play.