Milan’s 16-year-old goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma celebrates his Under-21 call. “My dream is to follow Gigi Buffon’s footsteps.”
The shot-stopper was a surprise pick from Sinisa Mihajlovic, but his performances – including two clean sheets – bumped Diego Lopez on to the bench.
Now he has received his first Italy call at Under-21 level, by-passing the other youth teams completely.
“I am very happy, I have to keep working and experience this call with humility,” Donnarumma told Sky Sport Italia.
“There is a lot of responsibility on my shoulders, but it’s just my personality, I let it slide off me. I try to help my teammates relax and continue along my way.
“My idol is Buffon and my dream is to become first choice goalkeeper for the Nazionale, following in his footsteps. Everyone would love to have a career like his.
“At Milan I train with two great professionals like Diego Lopez and Christian Abbiati, who are helping me to improve so much.”
Many have called Donnarumma a ‘prodigy’ and someone who was always destined for greatness.
“I don’t know about that, but I am keeping my feet firmly on the ground. Clearly it’s great to reach the senior team after just two seasons in the youth sector.
“I want to stay calm and respect everyone, that way I can also have help from everyone. I really need to improve in many areas, but goalkeeping Coach Alfredo Magni is giving me a big hand in this process.”