Goal.com World Player Of The Week: Gianluigi Buffon - Juventus & Italy

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Welcome to Goal.com's regular feature: Goal.com World Player of the Week. Each week our worldwide team of editors will put forward a selected candidate, as chosen by Goal.com International, who deserves recognition for achieving something special that matchday. It won't necessarily be the best player in the world - at least not usually - but whoever we nominate will have done something amazing. It might be for a particularly awesome performance or for something praiseworthy off the pitch - either way, the person in question deserves special attention...

Goal.com World Player of the Week #18: GIANLUIGI BUFFON
Club: Juventus
Country: Italy
Age: 31
Role: Goalkeeper
Achievement: Ensured at least a point for his club in the Champions League and secured a clean sheet at the weekend.

Goal.com's 18th World Player of the Week is hitting a rich vein of form for club and country after a difficult term last season.

Buffon was restricted to 23 appearances in Serie A last time around with many commentators speculating that his replacement, Alex Manninger, was actually performing better for Juventus when called upon.

However, over the past number of matchdays, the World Cup winner has reaffirmed his class. Majestic displays against Georgia and Bulgaria for the Azzurri last month had propelled 'Gigi' back into the 'Best Goalkeeper in the World' debate, and his past two matches have emphasised his claim to the throne.

A commanding performance against Bordeaux in last week's Champions League tie featured a string of vital and improbable saves, while his goalkeeping masterclass against Livorno this past weekend had to be seen to be believed. On paper, it was a routine 2-0 for the Old Lady, but in reality, Ciro Ferrara owes a large chunk of gratitude to his custodian.

There can be no doubt about it; as Carlo Garganese points out, Gianluigi Buffon is the most on-form player in the world at the moment and is quickly re-establishing his credentials as the planet's best glovesman.

Congratulations to Gianluigi, our 18th Goal.com World Player of the Week!



Honourable Mentions:

1. Katlego Mphela (Mamelodi Sundowns - South Africa)

Mphela deserves a mention after rescuing his national side against the minnows of Madagascar as South Africa won 1-0. This weekend's goal was his eighth in a Bafana jersey. Mphela had also scored a Premier Soccer League brace for Sundowns during the week in their 4-2 loss to Wits University.

2. Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid - Portugal)

Another game, another brace for the world's most expensive footballer. 'CR9' netted twice during the week for los Merengues against FC Zurich in the Champions League and repeated the trick against Xerez in La Liga.

3. Adriano (Flamengo - Brazil)

He's fought his way back into international reckoning on merit, but 'the Emperor' shows no signs of resting on his laurels. The former Inter forward is now top scorer in the Brazilian championship after his weekend brace against Coritiba.

4. Thomas Vermaelen (Arsenal - Belgium)

Four goals in eight games is not a bad return for a centre-back new to the Arsenal side, and the Belgium defender has also overseen a clean-sheet at last. Vermaelen inspired a comeback during the week in the Champions League against AZ before his telling contributions in the weekend Premier League win against Wigan Athletic.

Leave your notes of congratulations for Gianluigi below, or discuss who else deserves a place in the sun this week...