Gianluigi Donnarumma is Euro 2020 winners Italy’s star player and will be the best goalkeeper in the world for the next 10 to 15 years, according to Fabio Cannavaro.
The 22-year-old was named UEFA’s Player of the Tournament for his penalty shoot-out heroics in Italy’s victory over England in last Sunday’s final at Wembley.
Donnarumma kept out efforts from Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka, after Marcus Rashford had earlier hit the post, as Italy ended their 53-year wait to win a second Euros crown.
He has won all five of the shoot-outs he has been involved in for club and country, having also made a crucial save in the semi-final shoot-out victory against Spain.
Italy legend Cannavaro believes Donnarumma answered any of his remaining critics with his displays at Euro 2020 and expects his compatriot to shine for at least the next decade.
“Donnarumma is the real champion of this Azzurri side,” Cannavaro told Tuttosport. “I am surprised that, before the Euros, some people thought he was an average goalkeeper.
“There’s nothing average about Gigio. Just think of the tranquillity he has at 22. He will be the best goalkeeper for the next 10 to 15 years.”
Donnarumma played more minutes at Euro 2020 than any other player (719), missing only the closing stages of Italy’s win against Wales in the group stage.
After spending time celebrating the Azzurri’s triumph, the young keeper this week completed a free transfer from Milan to Paris Saint-Germain, where he will compete with Keylor Navas.
“At least we will enjoy him with the national team,” Cannavaro added.
In his final season at San Siro, where he has spent his entire senior career to date, Donnarumma recorded a joint-high 14 Serie A clean sheets alongside Inter’s Samir Handanovic.
While Italy ended a long wait for continental silverware last week, Argentina did likewise by claiming their first Copa America crown since 1993.
Lionel Messi was the star performer for Argentina, scoring four goals and assisting five more to win his first trophy at international level.
Despite Donnarumma’s impressive displays for Italy, Cannavaro is backing Messi to win a record-extending seventh Ballon d’Or crown later this year.
“He is the absolute number one and he was the protagonist of a great Copa America,” Cannavaro said.
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