Former World Cup winner and European Footballer of the Year Gianluigi Buffon is not above being worried by the opposition and in particular Lionel Messi.
The match pits the world’s best outfield player against arguably the world’s best goalkeeper in Gianluigi Buffon and it will be the first time the two greats of football will meet, in the Champions League final on Saturday and Buffon was unstinting in his praise of the Argentinian striker.
Messi has scored 58 goals in 56 appearances for Barcelona so far this year. At this point, him scoring less than twice in a game feels like an off-day.
It’s dang near impossible to talk about the Argentine striker without using some sort of hyperbole. I probably would’ve reached for “wizard” or “warlock” or “magician,” but “extra-terrestrial” is way better and I’m glad somebody said it.
“Messi is an extra-terrestrial who plays with us humans, So we hope that on June 6 he returns to earth and becomes a human too.” Buffon said ahead of the Berlin final.
Buffon also went on to say that the Catalans’ front three of Messi, Luis Suarez, and Neymar is the “strongest attacking trio in the world,” and that Juve’s main task would be limiting their impact, much in the way that they did with Cristiano Ronaldo in their 3-2 win over Real Madrid in the semifinals.
His partnership with Brazil’s Neymar and Uruguay’s Luis Suarez has brought Barcelona 120 goals this season, helping the Catalans to the La Liga title and the Copa Del Rey.
Messi is attempting to make history by becoming the first player to score in three Champions League finals, while Buffon is hoping to add a first Champions League winners’ medal to his glittering haul of trophies – after losing the 2003 final with Juventus.