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Gianluigi Buffon to leave Juventus after 17 years at Italian giants

Last Updated May 17 2018, 11:32Football
Gianluigi Buffon will be leaving Juventus after 17 years at the club
Gianluigi Buffon will be leaving Juventus after 17 years at the club

Gianluigi Buffon will end his 17-year association with Serie A giants Juventus after he announced he will depart following the conclusion of the 2017/18 season.

The 40-year-old has become a legend of Italian football since making the switch from Parma in 2001, winning numerous domestic trophies with the club alongside the World Cup with Italy in 2006.

Buffon has played 639 games in Serie A, more than any other goalkeeper.

Speaking to the media, Buffon said "It's a very emotional day for me and I'm here off the back of an extraordinary and wonderful journey, shared with people who have cared about me greatly. For that, I have always tried to do my best.

"Saturday will be my final match for Juventus and to end this journey with two cups and with the president and the entire Bianconeri world by my side, will be very special.

"I'm proud to have played to the best of my ability right up until now, with performances which befit both myself and this club. I make this decision in a calm and happy state of mind, which is not to be taken for granted for a sportsperson.


Gianluigi Buffon next permanent club (odds via Sky Bet)

  • Any MLS Club - 10/11
  • Boca Juniors - 3/1
  • Parma - 6/1
  • Real Madrid - 10/1
  • Liverpool - 16/1
  • PSG - 20/1
  • Manchester Utd - 33/1

"If I feel as strong as I do at the age of 40, that is all thanks to Juventus and the mentality here. My own philosophy is built around that of the club and I shall continue to live my life in that way, as that's the only way I know to achieve results.

"The most exciting proposal for my career off the pitch has come from the president. Next week, after a few days to reflect, I shall make up my mind and follow my best instincts."

Juventus president Andrea Agnelli confirmed that the club will not be shopping for a new number one in the summer.

"What we now know is that Wojciech Szczesny will be defending our goal next season," Agnelli said, "as Gianluigi Buffon and so many champions have done before him."

Buffon added his praise for the current back-up, saying that "in Wojciech Szczesny, Juventus have an excellent goalkeeper, who also has 13 years less than me.

"Is this the best Bianconeri side of all time? I'm not sure, but certainly the most solid."

Despite returning to the national scene in recent months, Buffon confirmed "I'll be staying away from the national team. There are several young keepers who need to gain experience to grow."

Whilst he was expected to retire, the goalkeeper stated "if I decide to continue my on-pitch career, it will boil down to whether I still have the necessary drive and strength. It's something that I'd need to think long and hard about. I don't want to end up playing in lower leagues."


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Last updated at 1200 BST (17/05/2018)

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