Buffon returns after long lay-off

Italy World Cup winning goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon made his long awaited return from injury on Tuesday as his side Juventus drew 1-1 with French outfit Monaco but lost 6-5 on penalties in a friendly in Messina.

Buffon, widely regarded prior to his absence as the best goalkeeper in the world, had been out since the beginning of October, only playing in four out of Juve's 16 league matches, because of a back injury.

Former Arsenal goalkeeper Alex Manninger had stepped in impressively for him.

Buffon played for a full half of the match against the once proud but now modest French league side.