Gianluigi Donnarumma says he is fired up to best Gianluigi Buffon when AC Milan meet champions Juventus in Turin on Saturday.
The 16-year-old is set to line up against the Old Lady after impressing in the absence of Diego Lopez, and will come face-to-face with the Italy veteran for the first time in his career.
Having previously professed his hope of emulating the career of the World Cup-winning goalkeeper, Donnarumma says the chance to compete against his idol on the pitch gives him some added motivation.
“I hope to swap shirts with him on Saturday. Playing against Gigi gives me extra motivation,” he told La Gazzetta dello Sport. “But I mainly want to win the game, maybe without conceding any goals.”
Donnarumma denied that the prospect of facing Juventus on home soil could prove daunting given his inexperience.
“I don’t feel pressure. Yes, San Siro is impressive, and you can feel it a bit there. There’ll be a great atmosphere at the stadium, but I’m not worried,” he said.
Donnarumma – who also revealed he rejected the chance to join Inter’s academy in favour of Milan – says Bayern Munich star Manuel Neuer is another goalkeeper to whom he looks up.
“Neuer stops everything. It’s impossible not to admire him,” he added. “I’ve always wanted to do that, to be a goalkeeper. As a child I asked to stay in goal. Of course, I then hoped to win major trophies, but I’ve already realised my dream.”
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