England legend Peter Shilton gives his verdict on the Casillas versus Buffon debate

Gianluigi Buffon Italy

As two of the game's greatest goalkeepers prepare to go head-to-head in Wednesday night's Champions League semi-final, Peter Shilton names his favourite.

Iker Casillas and Gianluigi Buffon are stalwarts of the game, amassing international, domestic and European trophies, plus over 700 first team appearances between them. Now they come face-to-face in the second leg of the UEFA Champions League semi-final and an England legend has spoken out on which he thinks is the best.

Juventus take a 2-1 lead into Wednesday night's return leg at the Bernabeu Stadium, and Casillas - with 426 appearances for Real Madrid and 16 years under his belt - lines up against Gianluigi Buffon, a veteran of 308 Juventus appearances since his move from Parma in 2001.

There is little to choose between them in terms of basic statistics; Casillas is the younger at 34, to Buffon's 37, but the Spaniard has more international caps, 161 to Buffon's 147. Casillas has won the Champions League three times (Buffon has never won it) but the Italian has more domestic league titles.

The two goalkeepers even both have a World Cup winner's medal, but Shilton - England's record appearance maker with 125 caps - is well-placed to make a technical judgement on which he thinks is the better 'keeper.

Speaking to Sky Sports, Shilton said: “Buffon has always been a favourite of mine. His record speaks for itself. He’s won a tremendous amount of caps for Italy and his all-round game is very good. He’s a big lad and his strengths are his consistency. He’s always been up there with the top 'keepers in the world."

It appears that Buffon has got the nod from England's former captain, but Shilton goes on to clarify where he thinks the difference is: “Buffon isn’t getting any younger but he is still up there. He is a big lad and a little bit more dominant in the air. Casillas is a good all-round keeper but his reactions have been his strength, whereas Buffon, his reactions are good but he can come and dominate the box as well.”

So Buffon wins the vote of England's greatest shot-stopper, but it remains to be seen if he can claim a first Champions League crown, with a slender first leg lead looking precarious in Madrid on Wednesday night, and even then, the small matter of Barcelona awaiting in the Berlin final.

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