GIANLUIGI BUFFON has reflected on the 21-year age gap between himself and Monaco striker Kylian Mbappe, calling it ‘the beauty of life’.
The pair are set to go head-to-head on Wednesday as Juventus take on Monaco in the semi-final of the Champions League.
When asked about Mbappe, Buffon eloquently spoke about his illustrious career… and what Mbappe had in store.
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Buffon told the Uefa website: “He was born in 1998, right? I had already been at the 1998 World Cup in France when he was born.
“This is the beauty of life, the beauty of living, being able to meet guys who were not even born by the time you had a big part of your career behind you.
"I thought about it recently, I was able to connect almost three generations.
"I played with those born in the 1950s and 60s and I will finish with those born after 2000. It is a huge length of time.
"It's very exciting to know you're playing against the future Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Neymar.
"Maybe in ten years, when I'm done, these will be the established champions and I will always have the memory of facing them at the dawn of their careers."
On Mbappe himself, Buffon claimed the French star is set for a bright future.
The Italian added: "Mbappe is an incredible talent and I think he seems like a good boy.
"That will help him a lot in his career, which I hope is very bright.
"If that is the case, he will not have such a strong need to go through against us - he will have many other opportunities in the future to win the Champions League."
Buffon also added he sees a lot of Thierry Henry in Mbappe - with whom the Monaco ace has drawn plenty of comparisons - but claimed he could be even better.
He said: "Of course, the characteristics are similar [between he and Henry] - he plays for Monaco early in his career, the very slender and elegant running style.
"Probably, at this age, he is even better in front of goal than Henry was.
"He gets a goal in almost every game with his incredible perseverance and when you are so young it is hard to be so composed in front of goal."
Juventus take on Monaco in the Champions League semi-final first-leg on Wednesday May 3 at 7.45pm.