Paris Saint-Germain goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon has no problem with Kylian Mbappe thinking of him as a father figure or even a grandpa, claiming that the relationship between the two players has grown thanks to the friendship they share.
Mbappe had earlier in the year made a joke about Buffon's age when he was wishing him for his birthday on twitter, and called him grandpa Gigi. The Italian, who is 41-years-old, took the joke in good humour.
Buffon has said that he does not have any problem with being called grandpa, especially since he knows what it is to be a youngster and wanting the acceptance of an older player.
“It's only normal that Kylian, who is 20, thinks of me as a father figure or even a grandpa. But I think that's nice," Buffon told CNN.
Grandpa Buffon, huh? — Goal Singapore (@Goal_SG) February 12, 2019
Has any player ever stayed at such a high level for such a long time? 路♂️ pic.twitter.com/ujAKWl3Rd5
"I've experienced so many wonderful things in my career. Firstly as a young, adolescent, cocky player who was surrounded by older players and my mission then was to be accepted by them.
"This is all part of the difficulties of life, and you understand how different people's opinions are, and by changing your point of view over time you see how things can be different. But I must say it's all part of the rich fabric of life.
"And when I joke about with Kylian, we have a friendly rapport and it feels like we're the same age. The way I see it, we have to find common ground and I have to act in a younger way and he has to think along the lines of someone slightly older perhaps."
PSG will face Manchester United in the Champions League, without the services of Neymar and Edinson Cavani, and it will be up to Mbappe to get the team to the next round.