Brkic: Handanovic is one of the three best goalkeepers in Europe

The Serbian goalkeeper has hailed the ability of his former team-mate and says he is happy with his own performances in the first half of the season

Udinese goalkeeper Zeljko Brkic has praised his former team-mate Samir Handanovic and labelled him as "one of the best three keepers in Europe".

The 26-year-old, who spent last season on-loan at Siena, revealed he is still in contact with the former Zebrette number one, who moved to Inter last July for around €11 million.

"We often speak, not just about football,” he told La Gazzetta dello Sport.

“I still see him at the top, as in the days of Udine. He remains one of the three best goalkeepers in Europe.”

Brkic, who joined Udinese in 2011 from Serbian club Vojvodina, believes his loan spell with Siena improved him as a goalkeeper and prepared him for the rigours of Serie A.

“For me it was a good year. The experience of Siena helped me to learn about Italian football, and to prepare as well as I possibly could for my arrival in Udine," he added.

“Serie A is very hard. But I am satisfied with these five-and-a-half months in Friuli, even if I know that I must continue to work.”

Udinese currently sit eighth in Serie A following their 3-0 win over Inter on Sunday and speaking before the game, Brkic revealed his contentment at their campaign so far.

“We are sorry to be out of Europe, but in general it is positive. In Serie A we are doing well and we have a lot of confidence for the second part of the season," he continued.

“Do not forget that we have played every three days and without having eight to 10 players through injury.”