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Italian Legend Gigi Buffon Puts The Brilliance Of Messi Into Perspective

Gianluigi Buffon is quite possibly the coolest goal keeper to ever live. The kind of net minder to casually give a thumbs up and a wink after saving the day with the kind of tackle or stop that had the other 90,000 people around him gasping for air. He is unflappable, I guess that must be a trait that one picks up after 20 years between the posts at the top of Italian soccer. 

It speaks volumes, then, to hear such a man talk about Lionel Messi the way Buffon has. A picture is worth a thousand words; Buffon’s metaphor might be worth more. 

"Messi is an alien, that dedicates himself to playing with humans. The only hope is that this Saturday he will be from earth, like rest of us.” That was Buffon talking in an interview, according to (seriously, how does one come up with a domain name like that?).

Saturday, of course, alludes to the up-coming Champions League Final in which Buffon’s Juventus will square off against Messi’s Barcelona. 

This quote was sandwiched between praise for rival keeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen and appreciation for the quality of Barcelona on whole. Any lifelong sports fan is likely to be put to sleep by such talk; it’s inevitable before such a massive game. What is not inevitable is one legend comparing another to an alien, especially when the former isn’t an asshole talking about Mesut Ozil, but is simply trying to put into words what is nearly indescribable.  

Buffon has seen what Messi can do, has done, and knows what he likely will do come Saturday. Messi will play exceptionally, as he always has, even in finals. Buffon just hopes that the magnitude of that exceptionality will fall somewhere between “outstanding” and “brilliant,” on the day.

Buffon knows full well that, should Messi continue the scorched earth campaign that has since destroyed the psyches of Jerome Boating and those now-faceless Athletic Bilbao defenders from the Copa del Rey, Juventus is going to lose. He knows that Messi has the power to make Barcelona vs. Juventus look like the entire first half of War of the Worlds.

So let’s all take a moment, like so many of you probably have in the past couple years, to fully appreciate just how lucky we are to be able to see Lionel Messi, the greatest there has ever been, play in his prime.  

In the words of Reddit commentor HectorsDing: Born too late to explore the Earth. Born too early to explore the galaxy. Born just in time to watch Messi tear s*** apart. 

Now that is worth a thousand words. 

Follow me on Twitter: @yetly

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