Legendary Italian goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon will leave Juventus at the end of the season after 17 years at the club, he announced Thursday. "If I were to continue, I'd want to challenge for big honours, because that's what I live for and in a way it's my limitation too".
The 40 year old is set to bow out after seventeen years with the club. "I think it's the best way to end this wonderful adventure", said Buffon, who has kept 300 clean sheets in his 655 appearances for the Turin side in all competitions. Andrea Ragnelli knows everything that happens around me. Wojciech Szczesny will become Juve's first-choice goalkeeper from next season.
"What am I going to do?" He had already won the Coppa Italia and the UEFA Cup with Parma before joining the Bianconeri and can add a Serie B crown to that list after remaining with the club following their 2006 relegation, plus the World Cup later that same year.
"Over the next three days, full of emotion, I will after two or three days of reflection make a definitive decision, on whether I'll keep playing".
That was his 176th cap for Italy - a national record - since his debut against Russian Federation in October 1997.More news: Nadal cruises into Italian Open third round, Thiem exit
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"This is the greatest gratification, and that is why I arrive at this moment so happy, because it's not something you take for granted to be able to perform at this level for so long".
Interestingly, Andrea Agnelli is the Juve chairman, leading some to speculate that Buffon might even be being primed to take a coaching and/or managerial role at the Old Lady next season.
Buffon is facing a UEFA ban for his verbal abuse of English referee Michael Oliver, whom he said had "a rubbish bag for a heart". "I don't see him in America or China, Gigi is someone who has always played to reach goals, to win".