ROME (AP) — Italy captain Gianluigi Buffon's announcement that he is separating from his wife caught coach Cesare Prandelli off guard as the Azzurri opened their World Cup training camp Tuesday.
"I was surprised by his statement," Prandelli said. "I'm sorry, because whenever there's a separation it's upsetting for everyone. But the serenity with which he made the announcement leads to believe that he's mentally ready for this event."
Buffon, whose personal life has been under an intense spotlight in recent weeks, told Sky TV he has been "separated for a while" from Czech model Alena Seredova, who he married three years ago.
The couple has two boys.
Buffon is preparing to play at his ninth major international tournament, moving him level with former Germany great Lothar Matthaus as the top Europeans.
Buffon thanked his wife for not creating any problems in public and apparently wanted to clarify his status after he and Seredova were photographed at the Europa League final with their children.
"It was her who brought them to the stadium," Buffon said. "And I would like for them to come to Brazil — that would really please me. You can't ever forget that the first obligation we have is to make sure your kids grow up with the utmost serenity, no matter the fact that our roads could part."
Italy is training for three days this week before beginning full-time preparation next Monday.
With Prandelli concerned about humid conditions in Brazil, players wore heart monitors around their chests as they trained under the sun at the Coverciano training center in Florence.
As for social networks, Prandelli said he would hold an open discussion with the squad to decide on how best to handle their use during the World Cup.
"By nature, I'm not a person who bans things," he said.
United States-born forward Giuseppe Rossi was included in Prandelli's preliminary 30-man squad despite missing almost the entire second half of the Serie A season due to the latest in a long string of knee injuries.
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