Gianluigi Buffon revealed the brief chat he had with Cristiano Ronaldo following the Portuguese’s stunning bicycle kick against Juventus in 2018.
Ronaldo scored probably one of the greatest goals of his career in April 2018, when he rose high and acrobatically fired the ball past a helpless Buffon for his second goal of Real Madrid’s 3-0 Champions League win at Juventus.
The goal was so incredible, in fact, that even the Turin crowd rose from their seats and applauded the five-time Ballon d’Or winner despite it practically ending their hopes of progressing past the quarter-finals.
Now Buffon has revealed his disbelief to the goal, and shared details on the conversation he had with Ronaldo.
“After that overhead kick he scored against us for Real Madrid, I asked him how old he was,” Buffon told reporters at the Festival dello Sport in Trento on Sunday.
“He smiled and said: ‘I’m 33. Not bad, right?’
“I thought: ‘Look at this son of a…’ If you can’t beat’em, you join ’em!”
Ronaldo then stunned the football world just three months later by leaving Real for a €112m transfer to Juventus. He was soon joined in Turin by Buffon, who spent last season away at Paris Saint-Germain.
And now the 41-year-old goalkeeper is hoping to see Ronaldo collect a record sixth Ballon d’Or while he’s at Juventus.
“I must say, Cristiano is really a nice guy to be around. We spend a long time discussing and preparing things, he interacts with his teammates,” continued Buffon.
“He has been a pleasant surprise.
“If he were to win the Ballon d’Or, and I hope he does, it’ll mean Juve will too have won something important.
“I know that I never got one, but it’s very tough for goalkeepers. The only shot-stopper whoever got the Ballon d’Or was the legendary Lev Yashin.
“Yashin always said that if you are not tormented after a mistake, then you cannot be a great goalkeeper. In that case, I might be a great goalkeeper!”