'Pirlo is a class above the rest' – Buffon

The 36-year-old says the midfielder is one of the best players he has had the privilege of playing alongside

Gianluigi Buffon says Andrea Pirlo has “that little bit extra” and believes Juventus made the shrewdest of moves in bringing him to the club in 2011.

The veteran goalkeeper has faced some of the biggest names in football during his career, and speaking to reporters on the eve of Juventus’ Champions League quarter-final clash with Bayern Munich, the 36-year-old says the midfielder remains a special talent.

He said: “I have played with many strong players, but Pirlo is one of the few who has that little extra above the rest. The club showed great intuition a year and a half ago when they managed to bring him to Turin.”

The Italy goalkeeper also paid tribute to the Bianconeri defence and believes the unit do not get the recognition they deserve.

“I work with a great defence that’s often underrated,” he added.

“They’re the best defensive three I’ve ever played behind and I think Conte has done well to revert to a back three and find the right roles for the defenders to flourish.”

And Buffon is approaching Tuesday’s European tie in relaxed fashion and hopes Juventus play in their usual fashion on the night.

“We’re aware of the fact that we can still improve, but it’s nice to come to Munich and we will try play our own game.”

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