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Ruslan Nigmatullin: Buffon ruined his old age. it will be very difficult to live

Date: June 15, 2024 Time: 16:34:02

One of the best goalkeepers in soccer history, Gianluigi Buffon, retired from professional soccer at the age of 45. Imagine, the Italian began his rise back in the 90s. This legendary journey has come to an end. In an exclusive interview with Soviet Sport, Buffon’s colleague, former goalkeeper for the Russian national team, Spartak, Lokomotiv, CSKA, Italian Verona and Salernitana Ruslan Nigmatullin named the reason for Buffon’s football longevity, talked about his similarities with Yashin and Akinfeev , and also told how the symbol of Juventus dissuaded him from moving to the club.

Buffon recently retired. Many had the feeling that Gianluigi, as they say, is eternal. What were your feelings when you saw this news? – The man is 45 years old. I worry about him, how he will continue to live, because playing professionally until that age is, one might say, spoiling old age. It will be difficult for him to live without football. He has a great career, Buffon is one of the best goalkeepers of our time, he played for a long time. It is dangerous to do this before that age, so I wish you good health.

What do you think is the secret to Buffon’s football longevity? Which of our goalkeepers can be compared to him?– First of all, it is genetics that allows you to go so long without serious injuries. Secondly, the inner character and the hunger for football, because sooner or later many people get bored. They get tired, it becomes difficult to find the motivation to go to the gym every day. He was helped by a great love for soccer, which is what he likes the most, and he did everything possible to extend his soccer age. I doubt anyone can match it. Playing until the age of 45 is a unique case in the world.

Photo Source: Getty Images

During the time you played in Italy, did you come across Buffon?Yes, we have crossed paths several times. We once exchanged jerseys after the Verona game with Juventus, so we know each other a bit.

You spoke with him? – Yes, but these were just a few phrases about the game itself. There was another curious case.

– Tell me?– Yes, sure. At one point they called me to Juventus. Somewhere a few days after that, I was at a disco in Milan. And there we met face to face, the agent introduced him to me. Buffon then joked that he knew me, that he was a good goalkeeper, but why would he want to go to Juventus if he is there? Like, you are unlikely to play. It could be said that he responded. I agreed with him that he is beyond the competition.

Photo Source: Getty Images

When you first saw Buffon and his game, did you realize that he is a true football legend?– I remember seeing him for the first time in a match when I was playing Italy against Russia in 1997. His playing and style were defining and memorable, and his charisma was immediately visible. He still wasn’t that famous then, but his class and level were immediately visible.

Buffon was often compared to Yashin. In his opinion, is it possible to compare these two goalkeepers?– You can compare them in that they are, above all, goalkeepers. They are the leaders of their era, generation. The styles are completely different. But at the time, these players were the best. This is perhaps the only similarity, otherwise they are very different. Played at different times.

Photo Source: Getty Images

Do you think Buffon deserved the Ballon d’Or?– At one point, yes, he was definitely worthy. But the system is almost impossible to break. It is extremely difficult for the goalkeeper to win it. There must be something charming throughout the season.

Another goalkeeper Buffon was compared to was Igor Akinfeev.I don’t see any resemblance here. In style, absolutely two different goalkeepers. The only similarity is that Akinfeev also plays for a long time.

What qualities could they borrow from each other?– I think any. Buffon has nothing to borrow from others. He is mature and independent. The same can be said about Akinfeev. You need to borrow young goalies.

Photo source: RIA Novosti

In your opinion, can you call him the best goalkeeper in history?– He was one of the best, and the best in the years he played, of course. But his time is up, just like other iconic goalkeepers: Oliver Kahn, Peter Schmeichel, other leaders of his time. You just have to say thank you and give him what he deserves.

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Puck Henry
Puck Henry
Puck Henry is an editor for ePrimefeed covering all types of news.

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