Thursday February 13 2020
Buffon: 'Older players make difference'

Gigi Buffon praised Cristiano Ronaldo and Zlatan Ibrahimovic, as the Juventus veteran isn’t the only one “making the difference” at a certain age.

The 42-year-old goalkeeper was probably Juve’s best performer in the Coppa Italia semi-final against Milan, making several key saves during the 1-1 draw at San Siro.

“The reason I am still playing is that I believe I can perform at a high level,” he told Rai Sport.

“There are situations, such as this return to Juve, that give me even more motivation, because there are interpersonal relationships that make my responsibility and determination feel even stronger.

“I liked our passing, as we rediscovered the fluidity in our movement, but didn’t create as much in the final third. The 1-1 draw is a good result, considering how things were going, even if it’s not a scoreline that allows you to rest easy for the second leg.”

Milan will be without suspended Theo Hernandez, Samu Castillejo and Zlatan Ibrahimovic for the second leg.

“I didn’t know Ibra would be banned. I have to admit, I smile at this, because so many turned their noses up when Ibrahimovic was coming to Milan, but at the age of 38, he is making the difference.

“When it comes to players, you have to analyse them individually and not just as a birthdate. I am very happy for him, he is an extraordinary champion.”

There is another veteran proving doubters wrong, as Cristiano Ronaldo was on target for the 11th consecutive match.

“Ronaldo is incredible. I will admit, one of the reasons I returned to Juventus was the opportunity to play and train with Cristiano Ronaldo and every day is a revelation.”

As a sign of his longevity, Buffon left San Siro with Daniel Maldini’s jersey.

“In my collection I have Enrico Chiesa and his son, George Weah and his son, Paolo Maldini and his son. Now I’m waiting for their grandchildren!”

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