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Zidane hails 'extraordinary' Buffon

Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane labelled Juventus great Gianluigi Buffon as "extraordinary" ahead of the Champions League final between the teams.

Buffon, 39, and his stellar Juve defence stand between Madrid and a 12th European crown as the clubs prepare for the June 3 decider in Cardiff.

Zidane, who left the Serie A giants as a player as Buffon arrived, hailed the shot-stopper for his career.

"I think it's about what he has achieved. He's a born leader," Zidane told "He has been an extraordinary player throughout his career.

"He's a leader on the pitch and a great captain. In terms of everything he has said about players that he has met, he has always looked out for his fellow professionals.

"That shows you the sort of person he is, besides being a great goalkeeper and leader."

A World Cup winner, Buffon has claimed eight league titles with Juve, but is still searching for his first Champions League crown – having twice been a runner-up.