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Zidane hails 'born leader' Buffon

18:40 BST 26/05/2017
Gianluigi Buffon Juventus Serie A
The Real Madrid head coach paid tribute to the Juventus shot-stopper and also says that he has great respect for Massimiliano Allegri

Zinedine Zidane has hailed Gianluigi Buffon's leadership qualities both on and off the pitch, describing the goalkeeper as 'an extraordinary player'.

Buffon will lead Juventus out against Real Madrid in the Champions League final on June 3 as he looks to clinch the trophy that has already eluded him on two occasions.

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Zidane departed Juve for Real Madrid just as Buffon arrived in Turin from Parma, but he is well aware of the Italy international's attributes.

"I think it's about what he has achieved. He's a born leader. He has been an extraordinary player throughout his career. He's a leader on the pitch and a great captain," the Madrid coach told

"In terms of everything he has said about players that he has met, he has always looked out for his fellow professionals.

"That shows you the sort of person he is, besides being a great goalkeeper and leader."

Zidane has been impressed by his former club's performance this season as they secured their fifth Serie A title in a row and defied the odds to reach the final of Europe's premier club competition.

The Frenchman says that Massimiliano Allegri has improved the team he inherited from Antonio Conte and believes that the 49-year-old is one of the best coaches in the world.

"He deserves everything that has been happening to him. He has shown he is among the top coaches in the world," Zidane said.

"He has rebuilt, or at the very least improved, this Juve team.

"Of course it's down to the club and the players too, but above all it's down to the coach heading the project.

"I have great respect for him."