Gianluigi Buffon has been compared to Diego Maradona as Antonio Nocerino urged the Juventus and Italy great to delay retirement for another season.

Regarded as one of the all-time greats, Buffon is yet to decide on his future after celebrating his 40th birthday in January.

Despite his age, Buffon remains Juve's number one keeper and an integral member in their quest for Serie A and Champions League glory.

Buffon has made himself available for Italy having retired following their failure to qualify for the World Cup and his former Juventus and Azzurri team-mate wants him to continue in club football for another campaign, likening him to Argentine sensation and World Cup winner Maradona.

"For me, Buffon is the Maradona of goalkeepers," Nocerino said in an interview with Omnisport.

"For the past 20-25 years, he has been the number one goalkeeper in the world. He is the best.

"I'm not happy that he will retire soon.

"I don't know the situation inside the club with Buffon but I hope he plays another year."

Buffon and Juventus, who are seeking a seventh successive Scudetto, are in action on Wednesday, buoyed by Napoli's dip in form.

Juve play host to Atalanta in their rescheduled fixture following Napoli's goalless draw against Inter in Milan, which left Maurizio Sarri's men a point adrift with their Scudetto hopes fading.

Though Juve can go four points clear in midweek, Nocerino, who emerged from the youth ranks in Turin before going on to make more than 30 appearances for the Bianconeri, and last played for MLS side Orlando City in 2017, added: "I hope the title race is not finished now because for supporters it's important and nice when you have a competition that is going down to the wire.

"I hope it's not finished like the Premier League, with Manchester City leading [by 16 points]. I hope Serie A comes down to the last game."