Friday October 5 2018
Szczesny: ‘I’ll never be Buffon’

Juventus goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny feels not being Italian is a positive for him as “it means I will never be the next Gigi Buffon”.

The Pole joined the Bianconeri in the summer of 2017 after two years on loan at Roma, and following a year as backup he has now become the number one.

“My first thought was that sometimes you have to take a step back to take two forward,” Szczesny explained to BBC Sport.

“When I analysed the situation, it wasn't much of a step back because I knew I was going to play.

“I got 21 games, which is not bad for a second keeper. I also had the opportunity to learn from one of the best in history and I had one year to prepare for the job of replacing him.

“It was the best career opportunity I could ever have.

"I am proud of the way it has worked out. We all have difficult moments in our careers. It is how you react to them that counts. Where I am now hasn't come out of the blue. I have earned it.

“There is no better way to learn than watching the best in their job. Just to be with him [Buffon] every day in training meant I could see how he prepared for games, how he communicated with his defenders, not just on the pitch but in the dressing room.

“He also helped me to mature. You try to live up to that standard when you are called upon.

“It is easier because I am not Italian. It means I will never be the next Buffon. I will be the new number one goalkeeper of Juventus and that is it.

“My only thought process is stopping balls flying into the net.

“I don't go into games thinking I can't make a mistake because everyone is going to miss Buffon.

“Will I play as long as he did? I saw the sacrifice Gigi made to train at the highest level last season. When you are 25, everything comes easy to you. When you get past 35, every training session is a sacrifice. I can't see myself doing that.”

Juve have made a perfect start to the season, and the former Arsenal man also discussed his side’s form.

“It is not easy to do but you could say nine wins from nine is what we expected.

“If we play at our level, it is difficult to beat us in the Italian league. We had one tough game away from home in the Champions League and an easy one.

“For now I just want to win trophies and continue the great history of this club. I don't want to be part of the first side to lose a championship for many years.”

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