"Gigi [Buffon] is a great person," Casillas said according to Uefa.com. "He is a role model for all of us.
"And he has celebrated big victories: he won the World Cup with Italy [in 2006], he's won the Italian league various times, the Italian Cup and the Super Cup with his club, Juventus.
"For the whole football world, he is already a legend, and it's great that he's continuing to play. For me especially, it was great to grow up and develop my skills alongside such a great goalkeeper."
The Spaniard went on to praise the Buffon's consistency throughout his career, despite the odd setback here and there.
"He started his football career very early," he continued. "He's actually three years older than me, but he was successful very quickly and, for eight or nine years, he has belonged to the three, or let's say five, best goalkeepers in the world.
"The other top goalkeepers always change, but he is always among the best."
The two last met in competitive competition in the Euro 2008 quarter-final, which ended with both men keeping a clean sheet but Spain progressed in a penalty shoot-out.
However, Casillas admitted that his side might have been a little fortunate on that occasion.
"During the last Euro, we were kind of the favourites against Italy because we'd won all our group matches and Italy had qualified at the last second.
"Nevertheless, it was a close match and the score was 0-0 after 90 minutes. Both teams had chances to win it, but penalties had to decide who would prevail. All the luck was on our side that time."
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