Gianluigi Buffon, the legendary goalkeeper of the Italian national team and Juventus, former professional football player, on Friday said the Georgian winger of the Italian club Napoli Khvicha Kvaratskhelia could claim the Ballon d’Or, the Spazio Napoli said.
At the presentation of the book Kvaradona - A Georgian Miracle about the Georgian player by Italian author Emanuele Giulianelli, Buffon noted he “was immediately intrigued” by Kvaratskelia when he started playing in the Italian Serie A championship.
It’s situations, often historical ones, that make one win it or at least arrive among the candidates. Kvara is someone who as a talent, at a time when people like Messi, Ronaldo and Neymar – real cannibals – have stopped, can play with Haaland, Mbappe and the others”, Buffon added.
He praised the 22-year-old Georgian winger's dribbling and movement skills, noting “I haven’t seen it in many players”.
Kvaratskhelia was ranked 17th last month for the rankings of the Men's Ballon d'Or award, presented annually to the best player of the year by France Football.
The Georgian footballer’s nomination followed his debut season for Napoli that helped the Italian club in their winning run in Serie A with his match-winning contributions, leading to the team’s first title in 33 years.
He was also named the Champions League Young Player of the Season and became the Most Valuable Player of the series and received three Player of the Month awards by EA Sports, a division of Electronic Arts that develops and publishes sports video games and partners the Serie A, setting a new all-time record in the history of the Italian championship.