Zoff: Gianluigi Buffon is still the best

The legendary Italian goalkeeper insists that the 35-year-old remains one of the world’s top players between the posts.
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 keepers.

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

“Gigi (Buffon) is at the top in Italy, in Europe and throughout the world. He is the best,” said Zoff, speaking to 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 put 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. It is the role that all others, including teammates, 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 added 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. Goalkeepers are afraid of being wrong.”