Proud Donnarumma savours Buffon advice

Updated: 

A proud Gianluigi Donnarumma thanked goalkeeping icon Gianluigi Buffon for his advice ahead of his first senior start for Italy.

AC Milan keeper Donnarumma is seen as the heir to 39-year-old Buffon in the international set-up and has also been mooted as a potential replacement for the veteran at Juventus.

The 18-year-old's third cap came in Tuesday's 2-1 friendly victory over Netherlands, though Italy had to come from behind to win with strikes from Eder and Leonardo Bonucci overturning Alessio Romagnoli's own goal.

Donnarumma enjoyed playing from kick-off and working alongside Buffon while on international duty.

"I am very happy for this evening, the way the game went. At the start after the goal we got back together, started playing the way we did at the beginning and realised it was just a moment of bad luck," he told Rai Sport.

"I am very happy to have made my full debut, but Gigi's still there. I thank him for all the advice he gives me in training. I am proud to wear this jersey.

"Buffon told me to just relax, do what I'm doing and not try to invent anything new, as what I do already is fine.

"I am so proud to be here, I work hard week after week to improve, because you never stop learning. I soak in all the advice that I receive.

"I dedicate this night to my family and my girlfriend."

Donnarumma has been linked with a host of European clubs, but remains focused on short-term goals.

"I want to enjoy playing for the national team, from tomorrow we'll start to think about and prepare for the [Milan] game with Pescara," he added.