Gianluigi Buffon is well placed to speak about opposition strikers having faced some of the world’s finest in his career and the Juventus stopper singled out Kylian Mbappe for praise.
Buffon will line up against the prodigiously talented Monaco 18-year-old when his side visit the principality on Wednesday night in the Champions League semi-final first leg.
He was full of praise for Mbappe, likening him to Thierry Henry in his languid, elegant style, and even went as far as to say the youngster is better than his legendary French predecessor was at 18.
Buffon told UEFA’s website: ‘Mbappe is an incredible talent and I think he seems like a good boy. ‘Of course, the characteristics are similar [between he and Henry] – he plays for Monaco early in his career, the very slender and elegant running style.
‘Probably, at this age, he is even better in front of goal than Henry was.’
The 39-year-old keeper also spoke of his thrill at his own career spanning so long and being able to face future world superstars.
‘This is the beauty of life, the beauty of living, being able to meet guys who were not even born by the time you had a big part of your career behind you.
‘It’s very exciting to know you’re playing against the future Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Neymar.
‘Maybe in 10 years, when I’m done, these will be the established champions and I will always have the memory of facing them at the dawn of their careers.’
On Wednesday night the experienced Italian will have to set his admiration of Mbappe aside as Juventus bid to take control of the semi-final at Stade Louis II.