Expert view: Gianluigi Buffon v Manuel Neuer

Gianluigi Buffon v Manuel Neuer – the two come face to face on Tuesday, but who is better? UEFA.com asks the opinion of experts such as Dino Zoff and Jens Lehmann.

Manuel Neuer and Gianluigi Buffon are two of the best goalkeepers in the world
Manuel Neuer and Gianluigi Buffon are two of the best goalkeepers in the world ©UEFA.com

Two of the greatest goalkeepers in the world, Gianluigi Buffon of Juventus and Bayern München's Manuel Neuer will go head to head in the UEFA Champions League round of 16. Who is better? UEFA.com sought out some expert opinion ...

Former Germany goalkeeper Jens Lehmann, speaking to UEFA.com
Buffon is without doubt a magnificent goalkeeper, but I wouldn't have minded seeing him play outside Italy. Only then can you see if a goalkeeper is truly fantastic, or if he can only play in one league. Of course Buffon has played incredibly well in Serie A and for the Italian national team, but I think Neuer probably has the edge over him, perhaps because he's also learnt from him.

Former Italy goalkeeper Dino Zoff, speaking to UEFA.com
Buffon is still playing extremely well, he is still in outstanding physical shape despite his age. He is still among the best goalkeepers in the world, no doubt about that. He is a complete goalkeeper and keeps working hard year after year; he is always determined to improve and this is a great thing for any player, even more so for a player of his status.

Neuer is another great goalkeeper, among the best in the world as well. He is very strong physically but he is also very clever and quick-witted. He takes a lot of risks, especially with his feet, yet he always seems to make the right decision.

Neuer, Buffon and more - six superb saves
Neuer, Buffon and more - six superb saves

It's difficult to say who is better. Buffon and Neuer are two great keepers. They certainly have different styles but they are both extremely good and effective. It will be good to see them pitted against each other.

Former Italy goalkeeper Luca Marchegiani
It's difficult to say who is better between Buffon and Neuer. The German is proof of how the role has changed in recent years; he is the evolution of the modern goalkeeper who can become an extra defender and can comfortably play outside the box with his feet. Buffon is not as natural doing this, though I think Gigi is still superior between the posts.

Neuer on Buffon
Gigi is a player who has been around for a long time. He has shown his international class for years and put in top performances every season. For me that is very admirable. I watched him in the Champions League and in games for Italy and he was a role model for me. It is great that he is still around and that I have been able to play against him. He's a decent bloke, very friendly and down-to-earth. We respect one another.

Will I play until I'm 40 like Buffon announced he will do? I can't answer that question; to set such goals when you’re 29 is difficult. You have to think about your body and see whether you're still fit. At the moment I am feeling good but I cannot say what I will be like in four or five years.

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