Turin - Juventus
goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon announced on Thursday that he will leave
the Turin giants after 17 years but did not as expected declare the end
of his playing career.
Buffon, 40, captained Juventus to a seventh straight Serie A title and fourth consecutive Italian Cup triumph this season.
"To end this adventure with two new victories was important," the Italian told a press conference at the Allianz Stadium.
"Saturday will be my final match with Juventus."
The former Parma goalkeeper will make his 640th Serie A appearance against Verona in Turin.
Buffon said he would like to take more time to reflect on his future which could be either on or off the pitch.
"What am I going to do? Saturday, I'm playing a match and it's the only thing that's certain," he continued.
"Until 15 days ago, I was sure to stop playing, but I received some
exciting proposals, both on and off the pitch. Off the pitch the most
interesting was made to me by (Juventus) president (Andrea) Agnelli."
"Next week, after a few days of calm reflection, I will make a definite and certain decision."
According to the Italian press Buffon has received offers from top
European clubs including Liverpool, Real Madrid and Paris Saint Germain.
It was a rollercoaster season for Buffon with Italy failing to
qualify for the World Cup finals for the first time in six decades.
His final Champions League game ended in another fiasco last month as
he raged into the night at the referee after being sent off late in a
semi-final defeat by Real Madrid.
He is facing a UEFA ban for his verbal abuse of English referee
Michael Oliver who he said had "a rubbish bag for a heart" and should
"sit in the stands with your wife, your kids, having your drink and
eating your crisps".
Italy's most capped player with 176, Buffon could make his
international farewell on June 4 in a friendly against the Netherlands.
Buffon holds the record for going 974 minutes in Serie A football
without conceding a goal and has kept 300 clean sheets in 655
competitive club matches.
Factfile on Italy and Juventus goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon who announced he was leaving the Turin giants after 17 years on Thursday.
Name: Gianluigi Buffon
Date of birth: February 28, 1978
Place of birth: Carrara, Tuscany (Italy)
Height: 1.91 m (6ft 3in)
Weight: 92kg (14st 5lb)
Italian Cup (1): 1998-1999
Italian SuperCup (1): 1999
UEFA Cup (1): 1998-1999
Total games played: 655
Serie A games played: 471
Serie A (9): 2001-2002, 2002-2003, 2011-2012, 2012-2013, 2013-2014, 2014-2015, 2015-2016, 2016-2017, 2017-2018
Serie B (1): 2006-2007
Italian Cup (4): 2014-2015, 2015-2016, 2016-2017, 2017-2018
Italian SuperCup (5): 2002, 2003, 2012, 2013, 2015
FIFA World Cup: 2006 winner
European championship: 2012 runner-up
FIFA Confederations Cup: Bronze medal 2013
Most caps for Italy: 176
Second-most appearances in Serie A: 639, behind Paolo Maldini's 647
Joint record for World Cup appearances (5): 1998, 2002, 2006, 2010, 2014
Serie A Goalkeeper of the Year: 1999, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2008, 2012, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017
UEFA Goalkeeper of the Year: 2002–03, 2016-17
Runner-up Ballon d'Or: 2006