Twenty two years ago, 17-year old Gianluigi Buffon was resting in a hotel camped by Parma a day to a classic showdown with AC Milan.

The Crociati had just finalized the training for the day and in the process, lost chief goalkeeper Luca Bucci to injury.

Coach Nevio Scala was said to have visited little Gianluigi later that night and informed the teenager he would be thrown into the starting line-up. With the very composure that Gigi will later come to be known for, he succeeded in shutting out an AC Milan attack boasting of Roberto Baggio and George Weah, keeping a clean sheet and effectivelyannouncing his name to Italian football.

Years on, and none could be more symbolic nor popular than the Tuscany-born as far as Italian football goalies go. Gianluigi has become a legend and not just any legend but the type that are lucky and good enough to be viewed from a decentralized template.

Just like Totti and to some extent Andrea Pirlo, Buffon is the kind of player whose reverence thrives above rivalry, tribe or language. There are some players whose substitution even during a derby compels every spectator both for and against to register a standing ovation. Gigi is one of such.


Chelsea midfielder N’GoloKante has been awarded the Professional Footballers’ Association (PFA) Player of the Year award for the year 2016/17.

The 26-year old ranked ahead of his teammate Eden Hazard, Tottenham Hotspur’s Harry Kane, Manchester United top striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Arsenal playmaker Alexis Sanchez.

On the other hand, Dele Alli beat his competitors to retain the Men’s Young Player Award for the second year in succession. Also, Manchester City’s Lucy Bronze won the Women’s Player of the Year award. Birmingham star Jess Carter picked up the Women’s Young Player of the Year award.

Kante is arguably the best buy in the Premier League this season after Chelsea snapped him up from the league winning side of Leicester City last summer. He has been spectacular in the role and he is on course for a double as Chelsea are favourites to lift the Premier League and the FA Cup.

United will not win title this season

Former Manchester United striker Andy Cole has stated that Manchester United will not win the title this season.

He believes that Jose Mourinho will need to be a magician if he can turn Manchester United into champions as from this season.

He believes that the team will improve this season, but he does not think that they will become champions. He said that it is possible that there will be more players coming in, but the Premier League is becoming tougher to win. He believes that Jose Mourinho should be given some time before he can win the title with Manchester United.

He said that if Jose Mourinho manages to win the title in his first season with Manchester United, he must be a magician. He believes that Mourinho is a great manager and will revolutionize the way Manchester United plays, but he will not be able to win the title in his first season.

Tim Howard doubted about his Selection

Tim Howard reckons as he is not entrusted with the job of picking the players who will start, so, concerning himself about whether he would be preferred as the no. 1 goalie in Copa America doesn’t make any sense.

He would rather just wait for the coach’s call.

Howard was America’s no. 1 goalie before going on a break some time back which saw Brad Guzan, his understudy, taking his chance and cementing himself in the XI. Now, with both being in the squad, who will and should start is up for debate.

Speaking about the uncertainty of him going to play or not, Howard said, “The selection is under the control of the coach, not mine. It’s always the coach who is in charge of making calls and the current scenario is no exception to that. I don’t think you should bother yourself about what you cannot control.”

“I would certainly like to stay in the frame for three years as I have an ambition of featuring at the World level again, but, then, you never know how things would take shape in that long a time. So, I can’t see that far and I believe what is right at this point is just to be there and available at any possible opportunity.”

Ronald Koeman comments on Communication gap between Players

Ronald Koeman reckons the players these days are so busy with technology that they develop a communication gap even with their own teammates and it results in poor coordination on the field.

Koeman brought up the game between Southampton and Newcastle United which was played at St. Mary’s Stadium the week before this and picked an instance from that game where three players in the defensive line of the Magpies went in the same route to tackle Sadio Mane, while, they should have gone in different directions and that error made a goal happen for the Saints.

According to Koeman, it could only have been the lack of communication on Newcastle’s part and nothing else. If there had been proper communication, different routes could have been taken and the goal could have been denied.

Koeman believes the players especially those who have grown up in this generation, they sort of build a different world for themselves and they remain busy in that world only. Face to face conversation just doesn’t come naturally to them.

That’s why, Koeman has set a rule for the Southampton players that when all of them are together, they will have to stay away from their electronic gadgets, their cell phones, laptops or whatever and instead, have a conversation among themselves to try and understand each other better and catch each other’s hints while playing alongside.

Ryan Shawcross says that Zlatan Ibrahimovic ruined his international career

Ryan Shawcross says that Zlatan Ibrahimovic ruined his international career after scoring four goals when he had just come on to see out the game.

England had a 2-1 lead going into the final 20 minutes of the match against Sweden in 2012. Shawcross was brought to defend this position and the Stoke City player was just making his debut for the national team. He would have been hoping for a much easier opponent than Ibrahimovic. Even though the PSG striker did not have a great record against the England national team or any of the English clubs, he had a fearful reputation across European football.

The game turned out to be one of the worst nightmares for Shawcross after he witnessed a masterclass from the big Swede. There was a major warning sign after the striker has scored the opening goal of the 20th minute. The real fireworks, though, came just after Shawcross was introduced. The striker scored an impressive hat-trick in the space of 15 minutes to win the match 4-2. The hat-trick included one of the wonder goals in the history of the game. Even though Ibrahimovic remains as one of the greatest strikers in the last few decades, Shawcross has not been forgiven for his part in the defeat.

Gary Bowyer says that he is extremely happy to be part of the club

Blackburn Rovers manager Gary Bowyer says that he is extremely happy to be part of the club at a time when they are on the up.

The manager has headed the rebuilding job along with owners, who were heavily criticised when the club were originally relegated from the Premier League. Bowyer says that the owners have been the first to accept the fact thatthey made a number of mistakes that led to the relegation of the club. Now, they have made a lot of changes that have seen Blackburn stabilise as a club and also build for the future by investing a lot in young talent.

More positivity could await the club after this week, as it will be quite possible that they could be playing in the FA Cup semi-final against Aston Villa. A sixth round replay against Liverpool may give potential scares, but the tie could not have been best placed for the Championship club. After back-to-back defeats in the league, Liverpool will be mentally tired coming into the match. Further, the match will be played at Ewood Park and the home advantage will be providing a major boost to Blackburn. More than winning the FA Cup, returning to the Premier League will be important for Blackburn andBowyer has set his sights on promotion.

Napoli didnt take advantage of Posession

Having more than 60% of possession wasn’t enough for Napoli to get a solid control on the match when they played with Palermo and lost 3-1 which has hurt their chances of getting closer to As.Roma and snatch the 2nd spot in the Italian League, Serie A.

“We allowed a goal that no one was expecting. He had been doing really well. Any time a goalie makes a mistake it doesn’t go unnoticed. We`re fighting for second place and we want to close the gap on Roma as much as possible.’’ Rafael Benitez said following the conclusion of the match.

Rafael Benitez has unveiled to the public that he and his team are setting their sights on the 2nd spot of the league which would allow them on securing a Champions League spot and avoid having to get through the qualifiers which is what would happen if Napoli is only able to seal the 3rd spot instead of the 2nd.