Gianluigi Buffon's highlights from the 2006 World Cup are truly incredible

Final Italy v France - World Cup 2006

The 2006 World Cup was won by a side straight out of an Italian textbook.

With the impassable Gianluigi Buffon between the sticks, Gli Azzurri's defensive displays helped them frustrate their way to the final. 

The showpiece itself against France is instantly memorable due to its penalty shootout finale and of course Zinedine Zidane bidding farewell to the game with a swooped headbutt towards Marco Materazzi. 

Yet Italy's journey there was remarkable enough in itself, owing largely to Buffon's heroics.

Then just 28-years-old and in his prime, the stopper conceded just twice over the course of the whole tournament.

It gets better - the first was an own goal from Cristian Zaccardo in the second group game, a 1-1 draw with the USA. 

The second was a spot-kick scored by Zidane in the seventh minute of the final.

Between the two, Buffon's goal was expertly protected for a total of 460 minutes. That left him with a total of five clean sheets from seven games.

He fell just shy of the record, set by compatriot Walter Zenga, who went 517 minutes and five games without conceding a goal at Italia 90. 

Of course, the Juventus man's finest hour came in the final shootout, thwarting David Trezeguet from 12 yards.

Final Italy v France - World Cup 2006

In extra time, the Italian had also kept out Zidane's thundering header with a fingertip save.

That was just one of a number of impressive stops he made at Germany '06 - closing in bravely at the feet of Milan Baros against the Czech Republic, denying Lukas Podolski at full stretch in the semi-final...

If you've forgotten any of those moments - it happens to the best of us, it was 14 years ago after all - here's a montage of Buffon's best bits at the 2006 World Cup.

It's always been a bone of contention that 'Gigi' has never won the Champions League. 

His achievements in 2006 ought to make up for that, somewhat.

The stopper was named Ballon d'Or runner-up that year, beaten only by international teammate Fabio Cannavaro. 

Buffon was thoroughly deserving of becoming a world champion. 

News Now - Sport News