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Buffon warns Donnarumma of tumultuous career ahead

Gianluigi Buffon has spoken out about the strain of expectation that has surrounded him since the start of his career – and has cautioned Gianluigi Donnarumma that he will endure the same scrutiny.

Buffon returned to Parma this summer after departing for Juventus in 2001, with the Italian spending a season at Paris Saint-Germain before returning to the Old Lady. The 43-year-old won Ligue 1 during his stint at the Parc des Princes, but it was a blunder against Manchester United in the Champions League round of 16 that proved costly, as PSG were eliminated on away goals.

Marcus Rashford’s speculative effort was spilt by Buffon into the path of Romelu Lukaku for his second of the night, before Rashford turned the game on its head with a controversial 94th-minute penalty.

Buffon told La Gazzetta dello Sport, ‘I had a terrific season in Paris.’ That was a mistake I made in the Champions League.

‘It was expensive, but we didn’t lose the game 1-0; we lost it 3-1.’ It had been a rough night for everyone.

‘The truth is that I’ve been walking on thin ice since I was 17 years old.’ It occurred at Juventus, PSG, and it will happen again in Parma if I go ahead and someone doesn’t like it.

‘The truth is that nothing is ever forgiven by the best of them; they are just waiting for you to fail.’

‘It will happen to (Gianluigi) Donnarumma as well, but because he is so powerful, he must remain cool.’ It will go exceptionally well for him in Paris. ‘We texted each other during the Euros, talking about PSG and other things.’

Donnarumma agreed to transfer to Paris just days after saving two penalties in a shootout against England in the Euro 2020 final, which Italy won for the first time in 53 years.

The 22-year-old, who was also named tournament player, has played 251 times for AC Milan since his debut at the age of 16, but chose to run down his contract at the San Siro despite the club’s wish for him to sign a new contract.

In the same interview, Buffon expressed his desire to compete in the 2022 World Cup in Qatar alongside Donnarumma. The 2006 World Cup winner will be 44 by then, and his present priority is to help Parma return to Serie A after being relegated last season.

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