Juventus legend Gianluigi Buffon has a surprising goalkeeper hero

Buffon the Great

Gianluigi Buffon didn’t have the best performance during Italy’s 3-0 defeat to Spain in World Cup Qualifying but there’s no question of the 39-year-old’s status as a living legend.

Simply put, he’s one of the greatest goalkeepers of all time. And so, football owes a debt to Thomas N’Kono. Speaking in an interview with Marca, Buffon revealed that it was N’Kono who made him want to be a goalkeeper.

N’Kono shines

Buffon has fond memories of seeing N’Kono star in one of the World Cup’s great shocks: Cameroon’s 1-0 win against Argentina in the opening game of the 1990 tournament in Italy.

“When I was little, there was someone mythical in my life: Thomas N’Kono, the Cameroon goalkeeper,” he said. “I saw him play at the 1990 World Cup and, after Italy, Cameroon were the team of my heart.

“It was at the 1990 World Cup in Italy. I remember the day of the first match, it was Argentina-Cameroon.

“Cameroon won and, at that moment, I decided to become a goalkeeper.”

Buffon also revealed that the toughest striker he faced was the Brazilian Ronaldo. Read the full interview here.