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All-time great Buffon too old for MLS move, says Pirlo

Andrea Pirlo believes Gianluigi Buffon is the best goalkeeper of all-time, but thinks the Juventus icon is now too old to move to another club.

New York City midfielder Pirlo hailed Buffon after the shot-stopper reached 1000 professional appearances by playing for Italy against Albania on Friday.

But he does not think his former Juve team-mate – now 39 – will follow him to MLS due to his age, though he reiterated his view that the Italy number one is incomparable between the sticks.

Asked for his view on the best keeper in history, Pirlo told Corriere dello Sport: "For me, it is Buffon.

"We have been playing together since we were 15 years old in the Italy squad. We still speak often.

"What if he came to New York too? He is a bit old for that move now, but he is still the best."

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Pirlo named AC Milan keeper Gianluigi Donnarumma, who is being touted as Buffon's eventual Italy replacement, among a list of Italy's top young talents that he thinks can help the country challenge for future honours.

The playmaker said: "It is a quality generation coming through and these things do happen in football.

"Apart from Marco Verratti, who has already made his mark at club level, I really like Domenico Berardi of Sassuolo, Milan goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma, Juventus defender Daniele Rugani, Bologna's Federico Di Francesco and the Fiorentina pair Federico Chiesa and Federico Bernardeschi."

And Pirlo does not think clubs will go far wrong if they build themselves up with an Italian core.

"I have always said that it is fundamental to have a strong core of Italian players in a club squad," he added.

"At AC Milan we had that and we won. The same at Juventus. At Inter they had a core of Argentines who felt very Italian and they won.

"When there is a solid base of Italian players, those who come in take their example and then everyone is working in the same direction."