A quick glance at Buffon’s career when he was Donnarumma’s age – the heir?
What was Gianluigi Buffon up to when he was 18? That’s what the talkSPORT.com office were asking each other when Gianluigi Donnarumma’s future became clearer.If Milan director Marco Fassone is to be believed, then the 18-year-old goalkeeper won’t be at the club for much longer after deciding not to renew a contract that expires in 2018.“We are disheartened. [Donnarumma’s agent] Mino Raiola has conveyed to me Donnarumma’s decision not to renew. It’s his final decision,” he said.Donnarumma is said to be heir to Buffon’s no.1 spot in the Italy team, so here’s a quick glance at how the 39-year-old’s career was progressing when he was the same age. 2 Club debutBuffon: Was a 17-year-old Parma youngster when he played against Milan on 19 November, 1995. The game finished 0-0.Donnarumma: Was 16 when he played for Milan against Sassuolo on 25 October, 2015. Milan won 2-1International debutBuffon: At 19, he replaced Gianluca Pagliuca against Russia in a World Cup play-off match in Moscow on 29 October, 1997. It ended in a 1-1 draw and happened 484 days before Donnarumma was born.Donnarumma: At 17 years old, he replaced Buffon in a 3-1 defeat to France on 1 September, 2016.Their first full seasons in briefBuffon was Parma’s no.1 goalkeeper as the club finished second – two points behind Juve – in Serie A under Carlo Ancelotti in the 1996/97 season. This was his first full season as a professional and he played 27 of 34 games, with the team conceding 26 goals – 17 when Buffon was between the posts – though they did have Thuram, Sensini and Cannavaro in defence. He was 21 by the time he won his first domestic pieces of silverware when Parma were triumphant in the 1999 and Coppa Italia finals.Juventus signed him for £32m in 2001 where he has remained since.Although Donnarumma played 30 times in his breakthrough season, his first full season as Milan’s no.1 was the 2017/18 campaign and in his first match he saved Andrea Belotti’s stoppage time penalty to seal a 3-2 win. He played in all 38 games and the club finished sixth, conceded 45 goals, and secured a spot in the Europa League qualifying rounds. 2 A quick look at Buffon’s career when he was Donnarumma’s age