Italy goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon has admitted that Germany shot-stopper Manuel Neuer is the best in the world.
However, the Juventus man believes that his nation can reach the final of Euro 2012, and hopes to face the Gelsenkirchen native when it gets there. On Sky Sports News, Buffon greeted Neuer with praise.
"Ciao Manuel! You are the best goalkeeper in the world, I hope that both of us are in the Euro final," he said.
Buffon also sent a lighthearted plea to his opposite number, eagerly anticipating a meeting between the two.
"Please don't take it badly, but I must win!" he joked. "I'm at the end of my career, you still have so much in front of you. I look forward to facing you."
Buffon, 33, was part of the Italy side that hoisted the 2006 World Cup, but to date has yet to add the European Championship to his trophy cabinet.
25-year-old Neuer, meanwhile, reached the 2010 World Cup semifinal, and next summer will participate in his first European Championship.