42-year-old Buffon to renew contract at Juventus
Gianluigi Buffon’s love affair with Italian champions Juventus looks set to continue as all signs point to the goalkeeper signing a contract extension with the club despite his advancing years.
The Tuscany-born shot-stopper had looked set to play out his final years with Paris Saint-Germain after swapping Turin for the French capital in 2018, Les Parisiens snapping up the veteran ‘keeper to provide experience and wisdom to the Champions League-chasing side.
Buffon returned to his spiritual home after just one season however, signing a one-year deal and refusing to take the captain’s armband from Giorgio Chiellini or the No.1 shirt from Wojiech Szczesny as he just wanted to do his ‘bit’ for the team that he holds so dear.
Far from the first time the Italian icon has put the Old Lady ahead of his own personal glories, Buffon famously opted to stay with Juve after they had been relegated to Serie B following the Calciopoli scandal, endearing him even further with the Bianconeri faithful.
Now, at 42 years of age, calling time on his playing career would not come as a surprise to anyone, but Buffon remains in enviable physical shape and still harbours ambitions of winning more trophies and breaking more records with Juventus.
Indeed, Buffon currently sits level with Paolo Maldini as the players with the most Serie A appearances in history, and will likely overtake his former international team-mate should the Italian top tier get back underway once the coronavirus pandemic is under control.
It is understood that ‘Gigi’ is yet to make a final decision on his future past the end of the 2019-20 season, but sources close to the situation suggest that signs are pointing to the club legend signing on for another campaign in the famous black and white.
The choices are few for Buffon given his age – stay with Juventus for another year or retire – and the custodian had highlighted his ongoing love for the club in a recent interview with their official television channel.
“The return to Juve was natural,” he said. “In the end, I had a wonderful year in Paris and I must say that I needed it to detoxify myself.
“However it’s clear that the contact with Juve was always there, with the President, with Fabio Paratici, and old friends. I played a season abroad without cutting the umbilical cord.
“I don’t know what will happen next year, it is true that two years ago I practically retired and then what happened, happened.”