Donnarumma inspired to emulate Buffon

Gianluigi Donnarumma wants to follow in the footsteps of Gianluigi Buffon as he continues his remarkable rise with AC Milan and Italy.

Rising AC MIlan star Gianluigi Donnarumma says he wants to emulate the career of Italy great Gianluigi Buffon.

The 16-year-old has earned his first call-up to the Italy Under-21 squad after impressing since being thrust into the first team at San Siro in recent weeks.

Donnarumma has earned widespread praise for his performances, not least in the 0-0 draw with Atalanta at the weekend, when he made a string of superb saves in the second half to safeguard a point for his side.

And the youngster is eager to enjoy the same kind of successes as Italy's World Cup-winner and record cap-holder Buffon.

"I'm very happy. I want to take this call-up with great serenity and humility. I have to keep working," Donnarumma told Sky Sports Italia.

"I always try to convey some calm to the team. But I repeat, I have to stay down to earth.

"I am inspired by Buffon, my dream is to follow in his footsteps and become a regular for the national team."

Donnarumma has thanked team-mates Diego Lopez and Christian Abbiati for their support in the Milan first team and credited Rossoneri goalkeeping coach Alfredo Magni for his continued improvement.

He added: "Diego Lopez and Abbiati are great professionals, they are helping me a lot in my development.

"Obviously I was hugely hapy to get into the first team after two seasons with the youth team. I want to feel comfortable and respected. 

"I still have to improve on a lot of things, but Alfredo Magni is giving me a big helping hand."