Buffon impressed by Courtois

2014-06-05 11:21
Thibaut Courtois (AFP)
Cape Town - Italy international Gianluigi Buffon admits there are plenty of talented goalkeepers in world football, but says he has been particularly impressed by Thibaut Courtois.

The Chelsea stopper has risen to prominence during his three years on loan at Atletico Madrid, where he helped lead the Spanish side to the 2012 Europa League title, as well as a Copa del Rey and La Liga double this season.

The Belgium international, who was also part of this year's Champions League final, will now be looking to impress at the World Cup in June before returning to Stamford Bridge for next term, and Azzurri keeper Buffon believes the 22-year-old is destined for big things.

When asked which goalkeepers he admires, Juventus legend Buffon told The Guardian: "Right now there's (Germany and Bayern Munich keeper) Manuel Neuer. He's definitely a very good keeper.

"There's Joe Hart (England and Manchester City) too. But the youngster I like a lot is the Belgian, Thibaut Courtois. I like him a lot."

Buffon will come up against Hart when Italy and England contest their opening Group D encounter at the World Cup, although Buffon is refusing to put too much stock into just one match.

"It's the first game," said the former Parma player. "Then there's another two. It's an important game, not a play-off."

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