Gianluca Zambrotta has tipped Milan teammate Ignazio Abate to break into the Italian national squad.
"Abate has had a great season," said the 2006 World Cup winner. "He has a great future ahead of him with Milan and also with the national side."
Abate, born in November 1986, has yet to win a full international cap or even be called up to the Azzurri squad.
Although he started his career at Milan, he subsequently spent time at six different clubs before leaving Torino for the Rossoneri again in 2009.
Initially given his chance as a full-back by former boss Leonardo, Abate has continued to grow in the role under Massimiliano Allegri.
Zambrotta's praise comes just a day after Milan Vice-President Adriano Galliani also spoke highly of the former midfielder.
"Abate will still be our right-back next season," Galliani stated. "I can say that we won't buy anyone in that position because we are well covered there."