The Manchester United defender chose his compatriot over his Old Trafford teammate, as the two Red Devils prepare to clash in the Euro 2016 round of 16 match between Spain and Italy.

Italian full-back Matteo Darmian became a bit of a fan favourite at Old Trafford in his first season, but his popularity at the club might plummet after his recent comments about the Manchester United Player of the Season David de Gea.

As Italy gear up to face Spain in the round of 16 stage of the European Championship, Darmian has stated that his compatriot and legendary keeper Gianluigi Buffon is in a different class altogether.

“It’s great to play against David, he is one of the best goalkeepers in the world,” Darmian told Sport360 when asked to compare between the Spaniard and Buffon.

“They are two of the best goalkeepers in the world and yes, there are similarities between David and Gigi for sure. But I think that Gianluigi Buffon is the best goalkeeper of all time. For me as a defender I feel very lucky to play with them,” he said.

Buffon is legendary, but De Gea is no less

Sunderland v Manchester United

David de Gea has been a mainstay for Manchester United since moving from Atletico Madrid in 2011. The Spaniard has won the Player of the Season award for three seasons in a row now, at times appearing as the only thing keeping Manchester United afloat in a terrible period for the club.

However Darmian is right in asserting that Gianluigi Buffon is one of the best goalkeepers of all time. The World Cup winner has the most number of clean sheets for Italy and in the Serie A. He is the most expensive keeper of all time and the only keeper in history to have won the UEFA Club footballer of the year award. This is only the tip of the accomplishments Buffon has achieved in a career spanning two decades.

One thing is for sure, Spain and Italy will both have a difficult time finding the net past their opposition goalkeepers.

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