Juventus and Italy goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon has selected his current Premier League XI and it has produced a few surprises.
The veteran shot-stopper has failed to select a single player from either Liverpool or Manchester United, while relying on Arsenal and Manchester City to create the spine of his line-up.
Few will ultimately disagree with the actual selections, but they will undoubtedly cause debate. Nevertheless, after setting a new Serie A record over the weekend for most minutes without conceding a goal, Buffon knows a thing or two about the game and is evidently a keen follower of the Premier League.
Speaking in an exclusive interview with Shortlist, the Italian icon went through each individual and assessed why he believed they deserved a spot in his team:
“The Premier League has a lot of top-class goalkeepers, but I have been watching Joe for many years and he keeps getting better and better. For me he is now one of the top three goalkeepers in the world.”
“One of those players who will always give you a good performance. They can be overlooked so often because people just expect them to have a good game, it has become normal.”
“The sort of defender that, as a goalkeeper, you are confident in. Calm on the ball, very strong and, most of all, composed. Along with Kompany, he is the best central defender in England.”
“Probably the best defender in England and Manchester City have missed him when he has been out injured.”
“Chelsea are not enjoying their best season, but he is a defender who you can always rely on to give you a good performance.”
“Nobody is comparable to [Andrea] Pirlo, and probably never will be, but Cazorla approaches the game the same way. He is able to control the pace of the game, which isn’t easy. He’s struggled with injury this season but is too good not to include.”
“A similar player to Ozil, but both deserve their spot, for the creativity and intelligence, they can change games.”
“It can take time to adjust to a new league, but this season I think he is showing the player that he was at Real Madrid. Arsenal still have a chance in the league, and a big part of that is because of Ozil.”
“He will upset people, but defenders hate to play against players like him – I have seen it so many times. He scores goals as well, you can’t argue with that.”
“A very special player. If Manchester City want to win the Champions League this season, then they must keep him fit. If they do, I believe they have a real chance.”
“Over the last year he has been the standout player in English football. He just keeps getting better and at the age he is, what he can go and achieve in the game is up to him.”