GIANLUIGI BUFFON will put himself in the line of fire tonight as he confronts the embarrassment of riches that is Real Madrid’s forward line.
But the Juventus keeper insists trying to tame the Galacticos is on a par with the fear of dread he used to feel when facing Celtic great Henrik Larsson .
It’s high praise for the super Swede from the evergreen Italian goalie who will attempt to put the shutters up against Ronaldo, Karim Benzema, Gareth Bale, James Rodriguez and co.
The Juve star knows Real will have all guns blazing as they attempt to overturn a 2-1 deficit in the Bernabeu to book a place in the Champions League Final but insists Larsson is up there with the greatest.
Buffon, 37, said: “Over my career I have played against some of the best strikers there has ever been. Both Ronaldos, Roberto Baggio, Zlatan Ibrahimovic – and I can honestly say Larsson is not out of place in those names. I faced him against Celtic and Sweden and he was a player to fear, he was very special.
“Celtic got his best years and I am sure the fans will always remember how fantastic it was to have one of the best players in the world for so many seasons.”
The Italian also insists countryman Rino Gattuso’s grounding with Rangers enabled the midfielder to become one of the most fearsome players on the planet.
He said: “Rino always joked he got his education in Glasgow.
“There was truth in it. Anybody who has played against Celtic or Rangers knows how physical they can be and players don’t come more physical than Rino.
“We all loved him but he could be scary sometimes and I am sure playing in Scotland made him the player he turned into.”
And Buffon echoed superstars such as Barcelona’s Lionel Messi in stressing Glasgow on a European night is as good as it gets for atmosphere and intimidation.
He said: “I do understand why so many players talk about the atmosphere at Celtic and Rangers.
“It is very intense. The only place I can I can compare Glasgow with is Istanbul at Galatasaray and Fenerbahce.”
If Juve can finish this job tonight it would provide Buffon with the chance to claim a trophy that has eluded him over a silverware laden career.
He added: “The career I have had has been incredible, winning the World Cup and many trophies with Juventus. The one that still evades me is the Champions League. Dreams do come true though, I know that. We have to believe we have a real chance this season.”http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/sport/foot ... st-5689673