Zoff: Buffon still the world's best keeper

The legendary ex-Italy international insists that the 35-year-old Juventus star remains at the top of the game and is concerned about the pressures on youngsters in his position
Former Juventus goalkeeper Dino Zoff believes that Gianluigi Buffon is still one of the best in the world and is worried about the next generation of Italian No.1s.

Zoff, who made 112 appearances for his country and over 300 for the Bianconeri, has been speaking out about the plight of young goalkeepers coming through in the game.

"Gigi is at the top in Italy, in Europe and throughout the world. He is the best," he told Corriere dello Sport.

"For a while there were [Andrea] Consigli and [Antonio] Mirante, who are no longer kids. It struck me, in a positive sense, the choice of Genoa to continue betting on [Mattia] Perin. This gives confidence to a goalkeeper so young."

The 71-year-old puts the dearth of emerging young keepers down to the responsibility that now comes with the role.

"With the pressures that come from the Italian football environment, our children lose their desire," he argued. "It is the role that all others, including team-mates, discharge responsibility of.

"A boy must feel the passion, you can't force it. I'd say: Don't be afraid of making mistakes."

Zoff also feels that new ball technology has made it harder for goalkeepers in the modern day.

"The material of the ball is more elastic, players can change the trajectory of the shot," the legendary No.1 observed. "Goalkeepers are afraid of being wrong."