The generation of superb Italian goalkeepers overshadowed by the emergence of Gianluigi Buffon

Jul 19, 2019 194

It’s the afternoon of 19 May 2018, and the 41,000 plus capacity crowd at the Allianz Stadium is surging with emotion. So too is the iconic goalkeeper who departs the pitch in the 63rd minute, waving a final goodbye to the adoring fans he’s given the lion’s share of his glittering career to. Although Gianluigi Buffon’s next career move is uncertain, his decision to depart Juventus and bring an end to one of the beautiful game’s most notorious marriages feels like the end of an era.

Although Buffon would later opt to extend his career in Paris, the then 40-year old’s decision to depart Turin after 17 seasons of unprecedented, unparalleled brilliance was more than enough to put the footballing world in a reflective mood. Now that Buffon was clearly entering the twilight of his career, where did he rank amongst Italy’s, or indeed the world’s, greatest goalkeepers?

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