Who's the best?

What we learned about Spain goalkeeper Iker Casillas and his Italy counterpart Gianluigi Buffon during these teams' dramatic, humid, tense UEFA EURO 2008™ quarter-final is which man was the better on the night. That is all. Not who is the best in the world.

The Madrile├▒o Casillas, who started taking responsibility for winning mighty trophies aged only 19 years and four days in the 2000 UEFA Champions League final, and who forgot to place his father's winning lottery numbers not long before that, hit the jackpot again for Spain on Sunday night in Vienna. Perhaps it was down to the intense practice on Friday night and three fine penalty saves in training.
But if you stand aside from the riveting contest between Spain and Italy and the bare bones of who won and who lost, it is a certainty that the debate about Casillas and Buffon must remain. The Spaniard saved twice and Buffon only once – but we all deserve to continue enjoying and debating their massive talents and humble personalities for years. No wonder that late at night in the Ernst-Happel-Stadion, 24 hours before this victory which put Spain in the semi-finals, Luis Aragon├ęs waved his hands up above his head, let out a huge sigh of exasperation and refused to be drawn into one of our most beloved games: Who's the best?

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