Gianluigi Donnarumma is a specimen. At 17 years of age and standing at 6’5″, the boy is the Italian King Kong with softer features; a man child of sorts who started puberty at age 12.
— Italy (@azzurri) September 1, 2016
In my short life thus far, two things have always been certain in international football: England will never win anything and Gianluigi Buffon will be in the Italian net. With Buffon expressing his desire to step down as the undisputed superhero for Italy following the 2018 World Cup, Italy needed to be searching for the replacement of a man who can’t be replaced.
Donnarumma, an AC Milan youth product, has emerged as the rightful heir to the Italian goalkeeping throne held by the legendary Buffon for so long.
Last season, the boy replaced Diego Lopez as the starting goalkeeper for AC Milan at the ripe age of 16.
16 goddamn years old. It boggles my mind.
At 16, I was playing at shitty soccer complexes in the middle of bumfuck nowhere in front of our parents. Donnarumma, on the other hand, was playing in front of full stadiums across Italy wearing the proud colors of a now mediocre but once great club.
I’m not going to say I’m jealous, but I’m lowkey a little jealous.
This past week, Donnarumma received his first international cap and became the youngest Italian goalkeeper to ever make his debut, breaking the record set by none other than Buffon.
The boy has the world at his feet and big clubs already knocking at his door. The likes of Chelsea, Manchester United, and Real Madrid have be linked with the youngster and he’s successfully brushed off rumors like its nothing, what a baller.
When the now full international was asked about the links to Real Madrid, he said
But I’m only thinking of Milan. I’m trying to do well here and train well each day, then I’ll see.
17 years of age and giving the middle finger to Fiorentino Perez, what a legend.
A move to a bigger club is inevitable with the amount of money in football these days, but hopefully he can continue to grow at AC Milan and be prepared when the throne is abdicated by King Buffon.