Nominees for the UEFA Men's Player of the Year award, Lionel Messi, Gianluigi Buffon. REUTERS/Eric Gaillard
CAIRO – 30 March 2018: Juventus’s captain, the Italian goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon, said on Thursday that he admires the Portuguese Cristiano Ronaldo, his next rival with Real Madrid in the quarter-finals of the UEFA Champions League.
Buffon said in an interview broadcasted live by Juventus on their official Facebook page that he admires the Portuguese player.
"I have got great respect for Cristiano Ronaldo because over time he has been able to improve as an athlete, as a player and also in terms of his mentality; he is a great professional I respect him hugely, he is a very pragmatic and clear-headed individual in everything that he does and everything that he says as well," Buffon said.
"In recent years he has been very smart because he has changed the way he has played, he uses less energy than before because he plays further forward in attack but he is an incredibly surgical player. Very clinical," he added.
"He is lethal, everything he does is 100% and in front of the goal he is a killer, considered Buffon, who will be the captain of Juventus in the tie against Madrid.
Juventus hosts Real Madrid on Apr. 3 in the UEFA Champions League’s first leg at Juventus stadium in Turin and the second leg is set to be on Apr. 11 at Bernabéu stadium.