Buffon: Cristiano Ronaldo has proved his intelligence by changing how he plays

Adapting to a new playing style as his body ages has shown just how intelligent a footballer Cristiano Ronaldo is, according to Gianluigi Buffon.

The pair prepare to lock horns in the upcoming Champions League quarter-finals, before which the goalkeeper was very complimentary of the Real Madrid star.

“Over time [Ronaldo] has learned how to improve himself as an athlete,” Buffon noted during an official club interview. “As a player, he spends less energy with respect to what he did previously.

“I admire him a lot because he is a pragmatic person, lucid in everything he does and what he says.

“I think that in recent years he has shown that he is very intelligent, because he has changed his way of playing.

“He is also lethal, everything he does is at 100 percent and in front of the goal he is an assassin.”

Buffon also discussed how he is part of an exclusive goalkeeping club to have survived at the top level for two generations, including Petr Cech and Iker Casillas.

“Casillas, Cech and I have been three goalkeepers to have played for a very long time, from football’s past and also a bit of football’s modern era,” he added.

“This means that the praise given to Casillas is correct and deserved.”