Barzagli: Buffon the greatest of all time

By Sacha Pisani 20 May 2018 421
Barzagli: Buffon the greatest of all time

Andrea Barzagli lauded team-mate Gianluigi Buffon as the greatest goalkeeper of all time after the Juventus captain played his final game for the Italian champions.

There were emotional scenes in Turin where iconic Italian keeper and nine-time Serie A winner Buffon, 40, farewelled Juve in Saturday's 2-1 victory over relegated Verona.

Buffon announced on Thursday that he would be calling time on his 17-year Juve career and the Italy international signed off in style, receiving an emotional standing ovation as he was substituted in the second half.

Linked with a move to French champions Paris Saint-Germain, Buffon hugged each of his Juve team-mates and several Verona opponents as he made way for Carlo Pinsoglio in the 63rd minute.

Barzagli, who shared a warm embrace with Buffon on the pitch, told Sky Sport Italia: "I don't know where he'll go, it's a surprise.

"He'll make the right choice. I have always told him everything and we have a great rapport.

"We'll miss him, he's a leader and the greatest goalkeeper of all time. He is a man who in the locker room lets everyone take a step up in quality.

"He never says anything without thinking it over and everyone listens.

"Over the last two years, I've lost a lot in terms of pace and reaction times, but have improved in reading the game. It's a struggle against fast players and experience does help."

Fellow Juventus defender Mehdi Benatia added: "I am sad that the captain is leaving. I've played with many champions, but Gigi is special, both on and off the field.

"His departure really does leave a hole in Juventus."

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Sacha Pisani

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