Gianluigi Buffon is capable of becoming Juventus manager at some stage in the future claims the legendary goalkeeper’s agent, although he continues to shelve retirement plans at the age of 42.
The World Cup winner is committed to spending at least more one season among the playing ranks in Turin, with another 12-month contract extension agreed.
Plenty have joked that Buffon could play on towards his 50th birthday, with the experienced shot-stopper having lost none of his appetite for the game. There will come a day, though, when he decides to hang up his gloves.
A move into coaching is expected to be made at that stage, given the vast knowledge that he has to pass on, and Silvino Martina sees no reason why Buffon cannot prolong his association with Juve by stepping into their dugout.
He told Radio Kiss Kiss: “In my opinion, he has to be a coach. He understands football and he has the experience to manage any dressing room.”
On whether Buffon could take charge of the Bianconeri, Martina added: “For me, he could. The difference between him and other goalkeepers is that he simplifies everything. It’s a gift of nature that he has.”
While Buffon is very much at the end of his distinguished career, Italian football has plenty of goalkeeping talent emerging behind him.
Gianluigi Donnarumma of AC Milan has long been billed as Buffon’s heir apparent, while Napoli’s Alex Meret and Mattia Perin – who is on loan at Genoa from Juve – are also held in high regard.
Martina added on those looking to follow in the illustrious footsteps of his famous client: “Meret and Perin are two great goalkeepers. I once talked to Gigi about Meret and he told me [Meret] could become one of the best goalkeepers in Italy.
“We also mustn’t forget Gigio Donnarumma. He’s a champion physically, he’s immense. Time will tell [about them].
“Donnarumma and Meret will be Italy’s goalkeepers of the future. I think they’re the two most promising lads in Italian football right now. Perin, meanwhile, is a safe pair of hands. The Italian school of goalkeeping has always been one of the best in the world.
“I saw Meret for Udinese Primavera some time ago and I was impressed by how he kept goal.”