Former Milan star Giovanni Galli believes Gianluigi Donnarumma “will be the best goalkeeper of the next 50 years.”
Galli was the shot-stopper at Fiorentina, Milan, Napoli, Torino, Parma and Lucchese during his career from 1976 to 1996.
“Considering the way I’ve seen Donnarumma grow over the past year… let’s just say that if Gigi Buffon got a cold, I would no longer be worried,” Galli told Gazzamercato.it.
“Until last season I could see no valid alternatives for Italy to cover Buffon’s absence, but today I have great faith in Donnarumma. Buffon himself is helping Donnarumma grow and become a champion both on and off the field.
“He still needs to improve in every area, because he’s only 17 years old and must absolutely not think he is ready, otherwise he’d slip down the levels and could be forgotten.
“I don’t think he is so arrogant, as he seems like a disciplined, intelligent and professional guy. He is very tall, but that doesn’t limit his agility and above all he never loses his concentration despite the tender age.
“I think a great goalkeeper is born every 50 years. From 1900 to 1950, Dino Zoff was born in 1942. From 1950 to 2000, Buffon was born in 1978.
“I think Donnarumma will be best goalkeeper of the next 50 years. I grew up with a generation of phenomenal goalkeepers. Today we are more reluctant to put our faith in young Italian ‘keepers, but in reality most of them provide guarantees.
“In recent years, Italian football might be lacking in quality defenders, but the goalkeepers remain strong. Just look at Mattia Perin and even his Genoa understudy Eugenio Lamanna.
“Unfortunately for these other talents, the emergence of Donnarumma represents a problem for those who want to make their mark in the Nazionale, much as Zoff did for those in my generation.”