Gianluigi Buffon warns Italy’s Euro 2020 hero Gianluigi Donnarumma to expect criticism throughout his career as the 43-year-old opens up about his ‘costly’ Champions League mistake against Manchester United
- Gianluigi Buffon spilt the ball straight to the feet of Romelu Lukaku, who scored
- The mistake proved costly as Marcus Rashford netted the deciding goal in Paris
- Buffon said he has been ‘walking on thin ice’ since he broke through aged 17
- He has warned his heir Gianluigi Donnarumma that the same will happen to him
- Donnarumma has joined Paris Saint-Germain after winning Euro 2020 with Italy
- And Buffon hopes to join Donnarumma as a 44-year-old at the 2022 World Cup
Gianluigi Buffon has opened up about how the pressure of expectation has followed him since the start of the goalkeeping legend’s career – and has warned Gianluigi Donnarumma that he will face the same scrutiny.
Buffon this summer rejoined Parma after leaving his boyhood club for Juventus in 2001, with the Italian spending a season at Paris Saint-Germain in 2018-19 before going back to the Old Lady.
The 43-year-old’s time at the Parc des Princes saw him win Ligue 1, but it was a fumble against Manchester United in the Champions League round of 16 that proved costly as PSG were dumped out on away goals.
Gianluigi Buffon has been reflecting on his blunder against Manchester United in 2019
The veteran’s spillage was seized on by Romelu Lukaku as the Red Devils won on away goals
Buffon has warned Euro 2020 hero Gianluigi Donnarumma to expect criticism in his career
With the French side two goals ahead in the tie and level at 1-1 on the night, Marcus Rashford’s speculative effort was spilt by Buffon into the path of Romelu Lukaku for his second of the night before Rashford turned the game on its head with a controversial 94th-minute penalty.
Speaking to La Gazzetta dello Sport, Buffon said: ‘I played a great season in Paris. I made that mistake in the Champions League.
‘It was costly, but we didn’t lose that game 1-0, we lost it 3-1. It was a bad night for everybody.
‘The truth is I’ve been walking on thin ice since I was 17. It happened at Juventus, PSG and it will happen in Parma because I am going ahead and somebody doesn’t like it.
‘The truth is nothing is ever forgiven to the best ones, they are just waiting for you to fail.
‘It will happen to (Gianluigi) Donnarumma as well, but he must remain calm, because he is so strong. It will go well for him in Paris, even more than well. We texted each other during the Euros, discussing PSG and more.’
Donnarumma sealed his move to the French capital just days after saving two penalties in the shootout against England in the final of Euro 2020 as Italy won the trophy for the first time in 53 years.
Donnarumma saved two England penalties in the final before moving to Paris Saint-Germain
Buffon meanwhile has returned to Parma following 19 trophy-laden seasons at Juventus
The 22-year-old, who was also named player of the tournament, had played 251 times for AC Milan since making his debut at the age of 16, but decided to run down his contract at the San Siro despite the club’s desire for him to sign a new deal.
In the same interview, Buffon added that he hopes to be at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar alongside Donnarumma.
The 2006 World Cup winner will be 44 by then, with his current focus on helping Parma get back into Serie A following their relegation last season.