His Azzurri career began on January 22 1997 and last night’s 0-0 draw with Switzerland was written into the history books with his 127th cap – one more than Paolo Maldini.
“This is naturally a great honour for me to overtake a legend like Maldini. Now the games in my record are really quite a lot.
“To wear the Azzurri jersey is the dream of every child, especially now it has four stars on it,” said the captain, referring to the number of World Cups won.
“I never thought of setting records, as at the end of the day they are set to be broken. The truth is it is always an honour every single time to wear this jersey and represent Italy.
“Let us not forget these 127 caps included a victorious World Cup Final, that’s what really matters.”