Gianluigi Buffon has receiving a surprising recall to the Italian national team for friendlies against Argentina and England.

Buffon had planned on retiring from international duty following Italy's elimination from the World Cup playoff.

"I've had many discussions and Buffon must not end with that game against Sweden," caretaker manager Luigi Di Biagio said at a news conference on Monday. "It's a question of his personal story, and of prestige -- for what Gigi has given to our football.

"I've offered him two or three games to enable him to make his decision further down the line, so Gigi will probably be part of my squad in March."