NEWS
Thursday March 29 2018
Buffon: ‘Special rapport with Casillas’

Gianluigi Buffon discusses his friend Iker Casillas, stating that the Porto goalkeeper has “extraordinary quality”.

The Juventus captain did a live Q&A on Facebook this afternoon, where he discussed teammates past and present, as well as rivals.

The 40-year-old has a long-lasting friendship with former Spain goalkeeper Iker Casillas, and he was asked about his fellow ‘keeper.

“We, along with [Petr] Cech, were the three goalkeepers who marked a very long era of the football of the past and a bit of a more modern one,” Buffon explained.

“If we’re still important for our teams it means the words and praise were well-deserved. I think Iker, first at Real Madrid and now at Porto, has proven he has extraordinary quality.

“My idols? My favourite goalkeeper was Thomas N’Kono, with his Cameroon. Then the goalkeepers from the Italian school were exceptional - [Walter] Zenga, [Gianluca] Pagliuca, [Sebastiano] Rossi, [Francesco] Toldo… and infinity of very strong ones.

“I also liked [Peter] Schmeichel, [Oliver] Kahn and [David] Seaman who, in my opinion, had personality I’ve seen very few times, they were able to transmit so much to their teams.”

Buffon also discussed his former teammates, having been asked about Filippo Inzaghi, David Trezeguet and Alessandro Del Piero.

“They are three icons of world football. Inzaghi and Trezeguet, unlike Del Piero, were real penalty area assassins.

“Ale had some extra quality, he needed space to demonstrate the technique he had, and he could enchant big crowds. Even just training with them allowed me to know what champions they were.

“The best trequartista? I really struggle with these things, I’ve played with many champions and I don’t want to forget anyone.

“I can mention players I haven’t played with, as a trequartista [Zinedine] Zidane was the absolute best. I never played with him, I came to Juve and he went away.

“Is Cristiano Ronaldo the best striker? I have unlimited esteem for CR7, over time he’s been able to improve himself as an athlete and in his professional mentality.

“I admire him because he’s a pragmatic and lucid person in the things he does. Over the past few years he’s proven himself to be intelligent, he’s changed his position and he expends less energy than before.

“He really is clinical, in front of goal he’s a killer. I’ve only seen that clarity, that ruthlessness, in Trezeguet.

“But if we’re talking about strong strikers, I was lucky enough to play against the Brazilian Ronaldo, and with and against [Zlatan] Ibrahimovic.

“Ronaldo is piling records on records though.”

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