"He's worth a good 15 points a season," said the defender, with Buffon currently out injured. "Gigi is our Maradona. What Diego did for Napoli, Buffon has done for Juve.

"Without taking away from (Emanuele) Belardi, who is doing well, with our No1 available, the music changes - we defenders feel more relaxed because he brings security, opponents fear facing Gigi."