AC Milan made Serie A history yesterday as they fielded Gianluigi Donnarumma in goal replacing Diego Lopez. The 16 year old became the youngest ever goalkeeper to start in a Serie A fixture.
Donnarumma helped Milan to a 2-1 victory over a 10 men Sassuolo on Sunday. This was the talented goalkeeper’s first competitive appearance for Milan, where he has been part of their youth set up since 2013.
Siniša Mihajlović promoted the 6 foot 5 goalkeeper to the first team ahead of a pre-season tour of China in the summer of 2015, this included games against Real Madrid and local rivals, Inter Milan.
Donnarumma was announced as third choice keeper for the 2015-16 season. The 16 year old selected the shirt number 99 due to his birth year being 1999. This shirt was previously worn by players such as Antonio Cassano and Ronaldo.
Italian goalkeeping legend, Gianluigi Buffon made his debut at the age of 17 for Parma over 20 years ago. Since then Buffon has gone onto make 152 appearances for his country, making him a record holder as the most capped Italian International. The Juventus goalkeeper has won many honours throughout his career includiong six Serie A titles and one World Cup.
Could Donnarumma follow in Buffon’s footsteps and go onto become one of the world’s best goalkeepers? Well former Real Madrid keeper, Diego López has called him “the future of Milan”.
The Milan goalkeeper has already made appearances for the Italian U15, U16 and U17 youth sides.