At the age of 40, most footballers have long called time on their careers. Or at least gone to ply their trade in MLS or China for one last big pay day.
But not Gianluigi Buffon. The Italian legend is still very much at football’s top table, having joined French champions Paris Saint-Germain in the summer after 17 years at Juventus .
Buffon won 11 Serie A titles during his time in Turin, alongside four Coppa Italias and five Italian Super Cups.
The World Cup winner was considered the best in the business at the peak of his powers, and would still make most people’s top 10s in his 24th season as a pro.
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There can hardly be anyone more qualified, then, to assess the current crop of goalkeeping talent than the World Cup winning stopper, and France’s Club Canal Foot asked him to do exactly that.
The Italian was tasked with naming the top three goalkeepers in world football, and though his answer wasn’t particularly conclusive, it’s sure to reignite the debate.
“You want three names but I will forget 100”, Buffon said.
“I will say [Manuel] Neuer of course, [David] De Gea and [Jan] Oblak… then there are others. [Thibaut] Courtois, [Keylor] Navas. We are in an era where there are many great keepers.”
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Though Courtois does get a namedrop in Buffon’s list, the veteran stopper suggested the Belgian was fortunate to land the prize for best goalkeeper at this summer’s World Cup in Russia, insisting victorious France skipper Hugo Lloris should’ve won the award.
“I already said that Lloris deserved to win the title. He was exceptional. Courtois had a very big World Cup. Lloris had a very big World Cup and he won it. I did not understand.”
Lloris, alongside the likes of Alisson and Ederson can count themselves unlucky not to make Buffon’s top stoppers list, but good luck telling Gigi he’s got it wrong…
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