Players put club loyalties to one side during major international tournaments - and rightly so.
We’ve seen Real Madrid and Barcelona players celebrating together in the Spanish national team; Luka Modric playing his role in Sergio Ramos’s missed penalty against Croatia by telling goalkeeper Danijel Subasic where the defender would place his spot-kick, and now Italy’s Matteo Darmian has told reporters - in a roundabout way - that he regards Gianluigi Buffon to be a better ‘keeper than David de Gea.
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"It's great to play against David, he is one of the best goalkeepers in the world,” Darmian told reporters ahead of Italy v Spain on Sunday. “Of course, it will be difficult to score, but we also have a great goalkeeper.
"They are two of the best goalkeepers in the world and, yes, there are similarities between David and Gigi [Buffon], for sure. But I think that Gianluigi Buffon is the best goalkeeper of all time. For me as a defender I feel very lucky to play with them."
Buffon is an Italian football legend
That Darmian, as an Italian, considers Buffon as the best goalkeeper of all time should come as little surprise.
The 38-year-old, who will enter his 16th season as a Juventus player in August, is an Italian football legend.
No player in the history of the Azzurri has won more caps than Buffon, who helped his national team win the World Cup in 2006.
But De Gea is the better goalkeeper right now
However, to suggest that Buffon is currently a better goalkeeper than De Gea would perhaps be a bit of a stretch.
While the Spaniard hasn’t enjoyed a great Euro 2016 campaign so far, his performances at club level over the past three seasons mean he’s now undoubtedly one of the best - if not the best - goalkeeper in the world at present.
Who is the better goalkeeper: David de Gea or Gianluigi Buffon? Have your say by leaving a comment below.
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