Juventus captain and goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon on Thursday expressed his admiration for Real Madrid’s Portuguese star Cristiano Ronaldo, ahead of their clash in the first leg of the UEFA Champions League quarterfinals.

In a live interview the Serie A club posted on Facebook ahead of the game scheduled for April 3, Buffon highlighted Ronaldo’s ability to maintain at top level despite getting older, reports Efe.

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“I have got great respect for Cristiano Ronaldo because over time he has been able to improve as an athlete, as a player and also in terms of his mentality he is a great professional I respect him hugely, he is a very pragmatic and clear-headed individual in everything that he does and everything that he says as well,” Buffon said.

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“In the recent years he has been very smart because he has changed the way he has played, he uses less energy than before because he plays further forward in attack but he is an incredibly surgical player. Very clinical,” he added.

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Buffon also praised former Real Madrid’s net minder Iker Casillas, who currently plays with Porto, saying that the Spaniard had been showing that he had something special.