International

Italy great Buffon to leave Juventus

2018-05-17 12:21
Gianluigi Buffon (AP)

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

Age: 40

Date of birth: February 28, 1978

Place of birth: Carrara, Tuscany (Italy)

Height: 1.91 m (6ft 3in)

Weight: 92kg (14st 5lb)

Playing career

Position: Goalkeeper

Teams: 

Parma 1995-2001

Juventus 2001-2018

International:

Italy 1997-2018

Caps: 176

Playing honours

Parma: 

Italian Cup (1): 1998-1999

Italian SuperCup (1): 1999

UEFA Cup (1): 1998-1999

Juventus:

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

International

FIFA World Cup: 2006 winner

European championship: 2012 runner-up

FIFA Confederations Cup: Bronze medal 2013

Records

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

Awards

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

Read more on:    juventus  |  gianluigi buffon  |  soccer
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