Monday January 4 2016
Zoff: ‘Donnarumma will be great’

Dino Zoff believes Milan’s Gianluigi Donnarumma is “pre-destined to become a great goalkeeper”.

The legendary ‘keeper, who won the World Cup with Italy in 1982 spoke to RadioUno about the current state of Italian football.

“Donnarumma has great qualities which allow him to play in Serie A at 16-years-old,” Zoff noted.

“He seems to be pre-destined to become a great goalkeeper, and it all depends completely on him.”

Zoff was Italy CT for Euro 2000, and also offered his thoughts on the Azzurri’s chances in France this summer.

“We’re not favourites to win the European Championships, but our history has always shown that when we go into things with big expectations things go wrong.

“The squad is limited, and there are definitely stronger teams than ours, but winning won’t be easy for anyone.

“The Juventus defence is a solid foundation to build on, but great credit must go to [Antonio] Conte, who has got our national team playing well.”

The former Juventus goalkeeper was then asked about the Scudetto race, and is backing the Bianconeri to win a fifth-consecutive title.

“Juventus are the favourites to be top after the end of the second round,” Zoff considered.

“They’re used to being in the lead, but Fiorentina and Inter are very solid. Napoli are playing very well, they’re all very close, but I see Roma as further back because the Coach [Rudi Garcia] was delegitimised in the summer.”

Gianluigi Buffon was snubbed for the Ballon d’Or shortlist this season, drawing condemnation from many, but Zoff has little sympathy for his fellow ‘keeper.

“It’s right to reward champions who create lots of opportunities and score so many goals. The goalkeeper doesn’t create anything, even if he has merits.

“I think it’s right that creative people like [Lionel] Messi and [Cristiano] Ronaldo win. I was second in 1973, but I was happy to be beaten by [Johan] Cruyff.”

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