Buffon coy on Ballon d'Or buzz
By Nadia Carminati. Last Updated: January 1, 1970 1:00am
Juventus goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon is not getting carried away by rumours tipping him to win the prestigious Ballon d'Or.
Barcelona's Brazilian playmaker Ronaldinho scooped the award for European Footballer of the Year last season but reports in Italy suggest Buffon is the favourite this time.
The winner will be revealed in Paris on November 27, but Buffon is not sure he will come out on top.
"I know nothing about this I swear. Let's see and let's hope," he commented.
Former Juventus star Michel Platini believes an Italian deserves to win following their World Cup success in the summer, and gave his backing to either Buffon or Azzurri captain Fabio Cannavaro.
"I would give the Ballon d'Or to an Italian player, because they won the World Cup," he said.
"I would give it to Buffon because it is time that (Lev) Yashin (the last goalkeeper to win the award in 1963) had an heir.
"Cannavaro too would be a worthy winner for his big performances at the World Cup."
Platini also offered his thoughts on Juve's relegation to Serie B for match-fixing, and praised the players who stayed at the club.
He said: "Juve have been bad and they are paying for this, but I have a lot of admiration for the players who remained.
"I think that, in their situation, I would have stayed in Turin too.
"In two years Bianconeri will once again be at the top in Italy and in Europe."