Gianluigi Buffon, Lev Yashin, Dino Zoff: Who is the greatest goalkeeper of all time?

Gianluigi Buffon in action for Juventus

Gianluigi Buffon has had an extraordinary career.

The Italian legend made his professional debut for Parma in 1995.

Fast forward 26 years and Buffon is still going strong. Despite turning 43 later this month, Buffon is still playing at the highest level for Juventus.

Buffon's brilliance over the years has now been recognised by a number of goalkeepers.

18 top goalkeepers from different nationalities, both past and present, were asked who they thought was the best goalkeeper of all-time by Italian publication, Gazzetta Dello Sport.

Gianluigi Buffon in action for Juventus

Manuel Neuer, Julio Cesar and Peter Schmeichel were among the goalkeepers that voted.

And Buffon came out on top. You can view who the 18 goalkeepers voted for below:

Manuel Neuer: Gianluigi Buffon and Lev Yashin

Neuer said: "Gigi [Buffon] is an incredibly big man, with an extraordinary character. For me he has always been an example, not only on the pitch as a great goalkeeper with phenomenal reflexes, but also as a personality off the pitch. Crazy what he has done in the last 26 years."

Manuel Neuer

Peter Schmeichel: Couldn't choose

“Gigi is one of the great goalkeepers who have innovated the role," Schmeichel said. "All of us have brought some news and done well with different styles, in different times and leagues. The best? Too hard question".

Michel Preud'homme: Lev Yashin

"As a child, Yashin always impressed me a lot," Preud'homme said of the Russian stopper.

Dino Zoff: Sepp Maier, Gordon Banks, Lev Yashin, Dino Zoff

Zoff couldn't choose between four goalkeepers when naming the best ever, including himself.

Julio Cesar: Gianluigi Buffon, Cláudio Taffarel, Rogerio Ceni

Some bizarre elections from Cesar, who voted Buffon alongside two of his Brazilian compatriots.

Julio Cesar

Santiago Cañizares: Iker Casillas

Canizares went with compatriot, Casillas. He said: "As a Spaniard I choose Iker Casillas as the number one, because he was very strong and has the same nationality as me.

Jerzy Dudek: Lev Yashin

"Yashin remains the top ever," Dudek said of Yashin. "Gigi and Casillas are on my podium. I choose Lev: he was the forerunner of many things, he was already complete in those days."

Rustu Recber: Peter Schmeichel

“I've never seen Yashin, I just listen to what the world says," he started. "This sport has changed over time, even the goalkeepers. I respect Buffon very much, his professionalism is unique and, not surprisingly, he still plays at very high levels”.

Peter Schmeichel

Vyaceslav Malafeev: Gianluigi Buffon

Malafeev went against his compatriot Yashin to vote for Buffon.

“For us Russians, Yashin is a legend, but Gigi's class is superior, it stands up to time, in fact at 42 he is still there. He is an example for children all over the world, including us. He is an ageless icon of football," he said.

Thomas Ravelli: Gianluigi Buffon

“Buffon has had the longest career of all," Ravelli said. "He knew how to adapt his game to changing football: it's incredible. Nobody had his consistency all those years, and then he won the World Cup.

Alex Manninger: Gianluigi Buffon

Manninger said of his ex-teammate: "Gigi is an idol, he is unique even in the locker room and if a guy asks me 'who should I imitate?' I tell him 'only one, Buffon'."

Alex Manninger

Antonis Nikopolidis: Gianluigi Buffon

The Greek stopper said: "It's very important to be so constant at a high level for so many years: it's amazing how much it has been at the top for so long. This is why he is my number 1."

Fernando Muslera: Gianluigi Buffon and Ladislao Mazurkiewicz

Muslera went with Buffon and fellow Uruguayan, Mazurkiewicz.

Jorge Campos: Lev Yashin

Campos went with Yashin as he is the only goalkeeper to have ever won a Ballon d'Or (in 1963).

"My best ever? The Golden Ball is too important, it makes the difference."

Jan Jongbloed: Dino Zoff

"It is so difficult to compare different goalkeepers. My favorite of all time is Dino Zoff ."

Dino Zoff

Bernard Lama: Couldn't choose

Gabor Kiraly: Couldn't Choose

Thomas N'Kono: Couldn't choose

Gabor Kiraly: Couldn't choose

Gianluigi Buffon

Final scores:

1. Gianluigi Buffon: 7 Votes

2. Lev Yashin - 5 votes

3. Dino Zoff - 2 votes

So, from the 18 goalkeepers that voted, Buffon came out on top ahead of Yashin.

Whether you agree with the voting or not, one thing cannot be denied: Buffon has had an unbelievable career.

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