By Harvey Byrne
Veteran goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon has made the huge claim that reported Tottenham target Kylian Mbappe could be the next world star like Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi.
The 39-year-old Italy international has been playing senior football for 22 years now after making his debut for Parma in 1995.
He is both the captain and first choice goalkeeper for Serie A giants Juventus and it is expected that he will line-up against Mbappe’s Monaco in the Champions League’s semi-final stage in May.
Now, previewing the game the goalkeeper was full of praise for Mbappe and stated he gets excitement knowing that he’s facing the future Ronaldo’s, Messi’s and Neymar’s.
“He was born in 1998, right? I had already taken part in the World Cup in France before he was born. This is the joy of life, the great thing about lasting for a long time. You get the meet kids who weren’t even born when you already had a good chunk of your career behind you,” told Buffon to UEFA.com, as quoted by Football Italia.
“The other day, I worked out that I managed to connect practically three generations. I used to play with those born in the 1950s and 60s, then I’ll end up playing against those born after the year 2000. It’s an enormous stretch of time.
“It’s stimulating knowing that you’re facing the future Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Neymar. Maybe in 10 years, when I have hung up my gloves, they will be the seasoned champions and I’ll have the memory of playing against them at the start of their careers.
“In any case, Mbappé is an incredible talent and also seems like a good kid, so that will really help his career and I hope it’ll be a luminous career, at that.
“If it is, he won’t need to get through against us… He’ll have many other opportunities to win this trophy in future. He does have similar characteristics to Thierry Henry, such as playing for Monaco, that very easy, smooth and elegant running style.
“At his age, he’s already better in front of goal than Henry was at the time. He scores in almost every game with remarkable consistency and that’s not easy for one so young to be so cool-headed.”
Mbappe has risen to stardom this season after breaking into the Monaco side in December 2015.
He has been linked with a move to some of Europe’s biggest clubs and in February the Daily Mirror reported that Tottenham had joined the race to sign the 18-year-old.
It is clear that the teenager is highly thought of and if Spurs are to sign him it is likely he will cost an almost record fee alongside having interest from numerous other clubs.
In other Tottenham news, Spurs fans have reacted on Twitter to Vincent Janssen’s message ahead of the Arsenal clash.