Real Madrid stopper Iker Casillas has called for goalkeepers to be given the same respect as outfield players.
The 33-year-old has lifted three Champions League trophies, five La Liga crowns and two Copa del Reys, as well as guiding Spain to two European Championships and a World Cup success in a glittering career.
However, he does not believe his position on the pitch commands the same respect within the game as it should.
“In order for a goalkeeper to be considered among the top three, four or five in the world he has to have had a sensational year and won a lot of trophies, whereas for other players it’s not always the case.
“It would be good if a ‘keeper always got credit for the job he performs on the pitch,” Casillas told UEFA.com, having seen Germany’s Manuel Neuer miss out on the Ballon d'Or award in December.
The 33-year-old revealed that as a youngster it was Italy goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon who convinced him he could go on and have a career in football.
“The fact Gigi started his career so young helped me considerably because if you see a young ‘keeper with his profile at Parma starting to play for Italy it’s because the coaches have faith in him.
“Therefore, it gives you belief you can do the same and our careers have followed a similar pattern ever since, as I also started very young at 17 or 18, and both of us are still going.
“Whenever we get the chance we have a nice chat. It’s a friendship that’s been formed over many years,” he disclosed.