Saturday, September 9, 2023

Gianluigi Buffon: Juventus, Italy and goalkeeping icon set to retire from football aged 45

Football legend Gianluigi Buffon is reportedly set to retire from the game at the age of 45. Buffon, who has played for Juventus, Paris Saint-Germain, Parma, and the Italian national team, is widely regarded as one of the greatest goalkeepers of all time.

According to Italian journalist Gianluca Di Marzio, Buffon will terminate his contract a year early and officially announce his farewell in the coming days. Following his retirement, Buffon is expected to assume the role of Head of Delegation with the Italian national team, a position previously held by Gianluca Vialli, who sadly passed away in January.

Buffon’s illustrious playing career spans 28 years, during which he has won numerous titles and accolades. He has secured ten Serie A titles, six Coppa Italias, and a Ligue 1 crown. Additionally, Buffon was part of the Italian national team that won the World Cup in 2006.

Throughout his career, Buffon has received several individual awards, including the International Federation of Football History and Statistics (IFFHS) Goalkeeper of the Decade award, 13 Serie A Goalkeeper of the Year awards, and a place in Juventus’ Greatest Team of All Time. He also holds impressive records for the most appearances for Italy (176) and in Serie A (657).

Buffon’s career highlights include his time at Parma, where he won the Coppa Italia and UEFA Cup double in the 1998/99 season. His exceptional performances for Parma attracted the attention of Juventus, leading to a then-world record £44 million move in 2001. Buffon spent 17 years at Juventus, winning multiple league titles and domestic cups.

Although Buffon’s career has been filled with success, the Champions League title has eluded him. Despite this, his contributions to the game and his impact on the teams he played for are undeniable.

Buffon’s recent return to Parma, who had been relegated from the Italian top flight, has not resulted in promotion back to Serie A. Nevertheless, this setback does not overshadow the remarkable legacy Buffon leaves behind.

As Buffon prepares to retire, football fans around the world will undoubtedly celebrate the incredible career of this certified legend of the game.
Gianluigi Buffon, Italy’s most successful goalkeeper and a Juventus legend, is set to retire from professional football after an incredible 45-year career.

Born in Carrara, Italy in January 1978, Buffon started his football career with the Parma youth team in 1992. It did not take long for his talents to be spotted, and he made his professional debut for the Serie A club the following year. After a successful five-year tenure where he won the Coppa Italia and UEFA Cup, Buffon transferred to Juventus in 2001 and quickly established himself as one of the club’s greatest ever goalkeepers, helping them to nine Serie A titles, five Coppa Italia successes, and four Supercoppa Italy trophies.

At the international level, Buffon’s career achievements border on the extraordinary. He has 186 caps for Italy, more appearances than any other player for the Azzurri, following the World Cup wins in 2006 and the runner up position in 2012. Additionally, he was bestowed with the prestigious IFFHS World’s Best Goalkeeper award a record five times, won the Serie A Goalkeeper of the Year Award five times, and was included in the FIFPro World XI and UEFA Team of the Year eleven times.

Despite playing a key role in major competitions, Buffon endured personal tragedy in his career; after his father’s death in July 2005, he made a personal vow never to remarry or have more children, due to his lasting love of his late father.

At 45, Buffon is now bringing his magnificent and accomplished career to an end. He bows out as one of the modern game’s most successful and respected goalkeepers, and a true inspiration to people of all ages. His extraordinary achievements, both on and off the pitch, will remain a shining example to young footballers across the world.

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