Gianluigi Buffon is arguably the best goalkeeper of his generation.
The 38-year-old has won a host of major honours throughout his illustrious career, including six Serie A titles and the World Cup.
Buffon, despite his advancing years, is still going strong and broke the Serie A record for number of consecutive minutes without conceding a goal at the weekend.
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It’s not just Italian football that interests Buffon, however. The veteran keeper also keeps his eye on developments in the Premier League - and who can blame him?
England’s top division has been brilliantly unpredictable this season and Buffon, speaking exclusively to ShortList, has revealed his current dream Premier League XI.
Goalkeeper: Joe Hart
“The Premier League has a lot of top-class goalkeepers, but I have been watching Joe for many years and he has just kept on getting better and better. For me he is now one of the top three goalkeepers in the world.”
Left-back: Cesar Azpilicueta
“Chelsea are not enjoying their best season, but this is another defender who you can always rely on to give you a good performance.”
Centre-back: Laurent Koscielny
“The sort of defender that, as a goalkeeper, you are confident in. Calm on the ball, very strong and, most of all, composed in all he does. Along with Kompany, he is the best central defender in England.”
Centre-back: Vincent Kompany
“Probably the best defender in England and Manchester City have missed him. To get him back at this stage of the season is so important for them.”
Right-back: Pablo Zabaleta
“One of those players that you know will always give you a good performance. They can be overlooked so often, because people just expect them to have a good game, it has become normal.”
Midfield: Mesut Ozil
“It can take time to adjust to a new league, but this season I think he is showing the player that he was at Real Madrid. Arsenal still have a chance in the league, and a big part of it is because of Ozil.”
Midfield: David Silva
“A similar player to Ozil, but both deserve their spot, for the creativity and intelligence, they can change games."
Midfield: Santi Cazorla
“There is nobody that is comparable to Pirlo, and there probably never will be, but Cazorla approaches the game the same way. He is able to control the pace of the game, and that is not an easy thing to do. He’s struggled with injury this season but is too good not to include.”
Striker: Harry Kane
“Over the last year he has been the standout player in English football. He just keeps getting better and better, and at the age he is what he can go and achieve in the game is up to him.”
Striker: Diego Costa
“He will upset people, but defenders hate to play against players like him - I have seen it so many times. He scores goals as well, you can’t argue with that.”
Striker: Sergio Aguero
“A very special player. If Manchester City want to win the Champions League this season, then they must keep him fit. If they do, I believe they have a real chance."
What do you make of Gianluigi Buffon’s current Premier League XI? Are the likes of David de Gea, Riyad Mahrez and Jamie Vardy unlucky to miss out? Have your say by leaving a comment below.
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