Juventus and Italy defender Giorgio Chiellini has backed teammate and compatriot Gianluigi Buffon to win The Best FIFA Goalkeeper 2017 award.
The pair have been teammates at Juventus for over a decade, and Chiellini rates his colleague quite highly, claiming that he is responsible for a lot of the club's success and makes things look rather easy when between the sticks.
“I’ve been through highs and lows with Gigi for 12 years,” Chiellini told FIFA.com.
“Obviously, the happy times and the tense moments we’ve shared before big games are the things that will stay with me the most.
“I played against him before I played with him, and I was lucky enough to score past him too.
“I think he deserves it [The Best FIFA Goalkeeper 2017 award] because he had an amazing season and because the saves he made took us to the brink of winning every trophy we were in contention for.
“Gigi is a leader during the big moments in any season, on the pitch and off it.
“Everyone, whether they’re a team-mate or an opponent, says he makes the difficult things look easy.
“Gigi is an extrovert. He’s always smiling and there are no airs and graces about him. He’s always a role model for his team-mates, both young and old alike.”
Buffon has enjoyed a 22-year career as a footballer, but doesn't seem ready to give up the gloves any time soon, despite the fact that he will be turning 40 next year.
There have been many keepers to come after him and make a name for themselves at the highest level. But the Italian can still rub shoulders with all of them as one of the very best in the world.