Gigio Donnarumma Can Replace Me, Says Buffon

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Gianluigi Buffon discusses his long career, and says Gigio Donnarumma has “extraordinary skills”. The Juventus goalkeeper is considered one of the greatest of all time, and it’s likely he’ll retire after the World Cup in the summer when he’ll be 40, having made his debut at 17.

“I often think about that, it’s unusual to find a player who can link 40 years of football,” Buffon said in an interview with Copa90. “I started playing with guys who were born in the 60s, and I’ll finish with those born in the 2000s.

“That’s something I’m proud of, football has changed so much, it’s more difficult now and despite that, I’ve been a protagonist. “For goalkeepers, the game has changed with your feet, when I started the backpass rule had just come in.

“Before the goalkeeper just cleared it, but in the past six or seven years, the goalkeeper has also had to build the play, make precise throws and maybe even beat an opponent.

“Because of that the job is more complicated, the goalkeeper must take more responsibility.

“A goalkeeper to follow me? At the moment the most interesting is Donnarumma, at a European level he’s the youngest and it’s normal that there’s curiosity surrounding him.

“He’s a lad with extraordinary skills, but in general I appreciate all good goalkeepers. I like to see a goalkeeper making a nice gesture.

“If [Manuel] Neuer, [Thibaut] Courtois or [David] De Gea do something good I enjoy it, and I feel admiration.

“Alongside them, I’d also put [Jan] Oblak, [Hugo] Lloris, [Samir] Handanovic, Alisson, [Wojciech] Szczesny, (Joe) Hart… I often watch them because I like to understand their method of making saves.”

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