Romagnoli: Donnarumma can emulate Buffon

Italy defender Alessio Romagnoli believes goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma has the potential to match Gianluigi Buffon’s legendary career.

Milan's Donnarumma is expected to become Italy's youngest starter at the age of 18, when the Azzurri face Netherlands in an international friendly on Tuesday.

In contrast, the 39-year-old Buffon played in his 1000th senior game on Friday as Italy beat Albania 2-0 in a World Cup qualifier.

Romagnoli believes Donnarumma, who hasn't missed a Serie A game for Milan this season, can emulate what Buffon has achieved in his career, if he continues playing the way he has so far.

"I think that Buffon is the best goalkeeper of all time and he is an example both on the field and off it," Romagnoli told a press conference, according to ESPN FC

"Gigio [Donnarumma] has a great deal of quality and I hope that he can enjoy a career like the Juventus goalkeeper.

"On the one hand, we have got the best goalkeeper of all time, and on the other, we have one who can become it. Whenever you have Buffon in goal behind you, you really do feel like you have a steel wall protecting you."