Juventus striker Alvaro Morata has backed captain Gianluigi Buffon as a Ballon d’Or contender.
The Italy veteran delivered an outstanding performance in the 2-1 Champions League win over Manchester City this week and was later hailed by ex-Juve midfielder Andrea Pirlo as the greatest goalkeeper in history.
The 37-year-old helped guide the Serie A champions to a domestic double last season, as well as the Champions League final, and Morata is in no doubt that he deserves a shot at the sport’s biggest individual prize, which will be awarded on January 11 next year.
“Gigi deserves it,” Morata told Mediaset and Sky. “It’s a pity that goalkeepers only seem able to win the Golden Glove award.
“It’s an honour for me to play with and even against him, given that I’ll face him on international duty.”
France star Paul Pogba has been tipped as a future recipient of the prize and Morata has no doubt about the chances of his club team-mate.
“Paul is capable of winning it as well. We’re all aware of his qualities and so if he wants it he can do it,” added the Spain international.
Juventus head into Sunday’s trip to Genoa looking to arrest a run of three games without a win in Serie A, and Morata – who fired home the winner against City – says his side must take their Champions League form into the game.
“We managed to beat world-class opponents by playing as a unit and understanding each other’s movements,” he continued. “Now we need to put this into practice again against Genoa, who are another excellent side.
“It will be great to return to the Marassi [Genoa’s stadium], where we claimed the Scudetto last year. We know it won’t be easy and we need to give everything we’ve got in order to win and to start climbing the league table.”