Buffon hype a timely reminder of the talent of Andy Carroll
So in the end they were all raving about the performance of Gianluigi Buffon as the A-list celebrity goalie kept Italy in the tournament - but in a week when Andy Carroll has been linked with a move away from Tyneside, it's worth baring in mind the Geordie ace has had the Serie A stopper in a spin once already in his young career.
Buffon grabbed all of the headlines as he kept out Adrian Mutu from the spot to save Italian blushes but Carroll's potential has already been highlighted against the world star.
Don't forget the teenager's first and only senior strike couldn't have been against a better keeper when he beat Buffon to score during a 2-0 friendly win last summer.
And while obvious cries of "it was only a friendly!" may be instantly polluting the airwaves, there was nothing friendly about Buffon's attempt to decapitate Carroll moments after he'd beaten the ÃÂÃÂ£40million man.
Oh yes, Buffon must have taken it slightly personal that this raw youngster had had the cheek to stick the ball past him in front of all of those people!
But being a Geordie, Carroll simply brushed himself off and got on with the game after the X-rated clash from the A-rated Italian celeb.
To be fair to Buffon, the player even afforded me an interview after the game and said: "Carroll played like what we call in Italy a paintbrush striker.
ÃÂ¢Ã¢ÂÂ¬Ã ÂHe was there to add the finishing touch. He played well on his own.ÃÂ¢Ã¢ÂÂ¬?
ÃÂ¢Ã¢ÂÂ¬Ã ÂHe will be an asset because he can find the smaller players around him in different ways and has already shown he has great awareness.ÃÂ¢Ã¢ÂÂ¬?
Carroll of course has shown he has plenty promise for the future and at just 19 it has to be with Newcastle surely doesn't it?
Even a stint out on loan has not been ruled out by the player himself but Carroll is surely the closest thing you'll get to a young Dean Ashton and without a shadow of doubt, due to his Geordie roots, the nearest thing you will get to another local hero.
Let's be honest, we're desperate for somebody who breathes black and white to help fire us up the table.
And with figures such as the measly ÃÂÃÂ£1million being bandied about by Norwich City and the current cost cutting exercise going on at SJP it would be a disaster to lose him on the cheap.
I mean if Shola Ameobi is worth ÃÂÃÂ£3.5million surely Carroll is too, given his potential?
One goal against Buffon and Juve won't automatically mean hero status nor success in a black and white shirt, but it was one helluva start and to be fair to Carroll he has shown plenty of signs of development.
A striker's currency will always be goals and Carroll has still to net for the first team at competitive level.
But that will be the challenge for next season and Kevin Keegan may be happy to give him the chance to do so.
WHAT DO YOU THINK?