There are reports from Italy suggesting that Juventus goalkeeper Gigi Buffon will hang up his gloves at the end of the season, despite earlier reports to the contrary.
Buffon has always maintained that he will retire at the end of the season, the only exception to the rule being if Juventus were to lift the Champions League at the end of the 2017/18 season. You can get a great Welcome Offer and check the latest odds on the Bianconeri to lift the title.
The veteran keeper spoke with Sky Italia last year and told them:
“This is my last season and I am quite convinced of the choices I take. I am a very calm person, in the sense that I am not afraid of the future and of what my life may be.
“It would not change anything to play for one or two more years. It would take nothing or add anything to what I have already done. The only way would be to win the Champions League and, at that point, to try to win the Intercontinental. Maybe (Wojciech) Szczesny could play a game and me another.
“But I think with a goalkeeper like him, it is normal that next year I’ll be aside.”
Despite that earlier report, there had been a suggestion in the Italian press that San Gigi was keen to remain on for another season, especially after Italy’s exit from the World Cup 2018 qualifiers at the hands of Sweden.
Juve’s Champions League match against Spurs midweek could have been Buffon’s last European match, although the keeper was quick to dismiss the negative connotations and seemed to suggest he may continue.
“I’ve got to be honest in that I’ve never thought about it [being my last Champions League game], because I’m naturally optimistic. I hope that, at least for this year, it won’t be the last for me and the last for Juve. I hope there will be many more important ones to come. I feel I am still a goalkeeper who can perform at this level and I can still make a difference.”
According to Corriere della Sera, however, an imminent announcement is expected from the keeper and it’s more than likely that he will call time on his playing career in May.
The suggestion is that Buffon is irked by comments from Italy caretaker manager Luigi Di Biagio, who suggested that the 40-year-old deserved a better farewell than the exit from the World Cup qualifiers.
A win in the Champions League may yet change Gigi’s mind and the draw for the quarter finals will take place on Friday 16th March.