Gianluigi Buffon is one of those rare footballers who seems to be universally respected.
The Italian, who made his professional debut back in 1995, is still going strong at the age of 38 and will be remembered, when he finally hangs up his gloves, as one of the greatest goalkeepers of all time.
However, Mino Raiola - the outspoken agent of Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Paul Pogba and other high-profile stars - believes there’s one ‘keeper currently playing who will be even better than the legendary Italian.
You could be forgiven if you presumed Raiola was referring to either David de Gea or Manuel Neuer, perhaps the only two goalkeepers who are widely regarded as being better than the current-day Buffon.
However, Raiola was, in fact, referring to a 17-year-old who still isn’t that well known outside of Italy but possesses the talent and potential to become a superstar.
Raiola: Donnarumma will become better than Buffon
“I’ve been lucky, I’ve always had champions. Zlatan, [Pavel] Nedved, Maxwell and now [Blaise] Matuidi and [Gianluigi] Donnarumma,” Raiola was quoted as saying by Goal.
“He [Donnarumma] will become even better than [Gigi] Buffon, because whoever comes in the future is always better than the past.”
Big things are expected of Donnarumma
If you aren’t aware of Donnarumma, it won’t be long before you begin to hear a lot more about the teenager - and not just because he wears No. 99 on the back of his AC Milan shirt.
The starlet became the youngest goalkeeper to make his Serie A debut, aged 16 years and eight months, while he later became the youngest ‘keeper to appear for the Italian national team less than a year later.
But he doesn't need this unnecessary pressure
Donnarumma, who currently measures in at 6ft 5in tall, is seen in Italy as the natural successor to Buffon.
However, suggesting that he will become a better ‘keeper than the iconic Buffon puts unnecessary pressure on the youngster’s shoulders.
He’s handled everything that’s been thrown his way so far in his short career, however, and Milan will be determined to keep him at the San Siro as interest from the world’s top clubs inevitably begins to build.
Will Gianluigi Donnarumma become a better goalkeeper than Gianluigi Buffon? Have your say by leaving a comment below.