Gianluigi Buffon has said that Tottenham Hotspur striker Harry Kane is one of the five best forwards he has ever faced.
The legendary Juventus goalkeeper, 40, is set to face off against the in-form England international in the Champions League when the round of 16 kicks off in February next year.
The pair have gone head-to-head on just one occasion so far, with Kane coming out on top as he headed home from close range to fire Spurs to a 2-0 friendly win over the Old Lady at Wembley last August.
Buffon saw enough that day, and from Kane’s incredible goal-scoring form in 2017, to claim that the Tottenham Hotspur forward is “one of the best”.
Over the last 12 months, Kane has found the net 56 times for club and country – two ahead of Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi and three ahead of the 2017 Ballon d’Or winner Cristiano Ronaldo.
He also broke Alan Shearer’s record for most Premier League goals in a calendar year, and scored six of the division’s 12 hat-tricks in 2017.
Now Buffon, speaking to the Daily Mirror, has put Kane on the same level as Ronaldo, Cristiano Ronaldo, Filippo Inzaghi and Gabriel Batistuta.
“Harry is now one of the best strikers in Europe – there is no question about that,” said Buffon.
“As a player, you can always work on parts of your game and try to improve – but there are some things you can’t teach. That natural goalscoring instinct is for me a talent that you are born with.
“I have seen over the years with Ronaldo, Cristiano Ronaldo, Inzaghi, Batistuta, they have that natural instinct that can really make goalkeepers suffer – and it’s clear Kane also has that.
“Always in my career I have wanted to test myself against the best – and now Harry Kane is one of the best. I have always had the attitude that I don’t fear the best – I respect them – and I always want to play against them.
“That is one of the greatest challenges of playing at the highest level, to test yourself against the best players – that is always something I have enjoyed.”
Kane currently has six goals in this season’s Champions League, three short of top-scorer Cristiano Ronaldo.
He, and Spurs, return to European football with the trip to Turin on February 13 to take on Buffon’s Juventus.