Matteo Darmian: David de Gea is good but Gianluigi Buffon is the best of all time

by Tanveer Arayan

Matteo Darmian believes Manchester United team-mate David de Gea is one of the best goalkeepers in the world but isn’t better than Italy’s Gianluigi Buffon.

The Man United pair are set to face each other as Italy take on Spain in the last 16 of the European Championship on Monday.

De Gea allowed the ball to squeeze past him at his near post in the closing stages of Spain’s 2-1 defeat against Croatia and will face Italy as a result at the Stade de France on Monday.

Speaking about both goalkeepers, Darmian insists he feels lucky to play with two of the best goalkeepers in the world.

“It’s great to play against David, he is one of the best goalkeepers in the world. Of course, it will be difficult to score, but we also have a great goalkeeper,” he said.

“They are two of the best goalkeepers in the world and, yes, there are similarities between David and Gigi [Buffon], for sure. But I think that Gianluigi Buffon is the best goalkeeper of all time. For me as a defender I feel very lucky to play with them.”

Darmian has experience of playing in front of Buffon, who is Italy’s 38-year-old veteran stopper with 159 international caps, and De Gea, who is starting his international career with 12 appearances for his country.

Both goalkeepers are at different ends of the spectrum, Buffon is a legendary goalkeeper but De Gea is only just becoming one of the best goalkeepers in recent seasons at Old Trafford.

Italy won Group E, ahead of Belgium, while Spain finished second in Group D and there’s no doubt the pressure will be on Monday as both teams need to win as the tournament reaches the knockout stage.

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