Features, Player Features

Gianluigi Buffon – The Last Man Standing

June 1, 2015 - 12:26 pm

The following is a guest post from Mayowa Koleosho – You can follow him on Twitter

Calciopoli still rears its ugly head in Serie A nowadays. After Juventus beat Roma 3-2 last October in a highly contentious game, a war of words erupted between Romanista and Juventini, with allegations that Juventus were back to their cheating ways.

The scandal that saw Juventus and some other Italian clubs penalized for being involved in activities that swayed officials to call games in their favor might have happened over 8 years ago, yet the wounds apparently aren’t fully healed. Of all the teams involved, none was penalized more than Juventus, who were relegated to the Serie B and stripped of two titles.

At the time, dark clouds loomed over Turin, and for a while, it looked like it just might be the permanent weather forecast. A few good men, thought otherwise, one of whom happened to be one of the heroes of Italy’s World Cup winning side.

Gianluigi Buffon, arguably the best goal keeper in the world at that point in time, could have jumped ship and would probably have been justified in doing so. Many of the club’s biggest names had departed, so who could have questioned such a valuable asset for wanting to jump a sinking ship?

Instead Buffon, in an incredible of show of loyalty, remained with Juventus, plying his trade in a lower league, showing that no man was bigger than the club.

According to him, “if Juve had to go to B, then I was going to with them. I didn’t really need to think about it. Juve helped me to become a world champion, therefore I owed them a huge debt.” Strong words, coming from a man, who sometimes seems larger than life between the goal.

Buffon alongside fellow club legends Alessandro Del Piero, David Trezequet and Pavel Nedved did the unthinkable by staying. Even more interesting was the fact this was coming off a World Cup win, an event where Buffon’s class and ability was constantly on display. Without a doubt, if he had expressed the desire to leave, Juventus would have received offers from the major players in the footballing world.

Due to his uncommon loyalty, Gigi as he is fondly called, is one of the most beloved players in Italy and the world. In a league and country where football is the equivalent of religion, Buffon is one of the few players that can go into opposing arenas and stadiums and get applauded by other team’s fans. His passion for the game is always on display, whether it’s pumping up his team from the goal mouth, or putting up incredible feats to deny opponents.

On a team with some of the most well-known names in football currently, none symbolizes Juventus better than the man in goal. At 37, whilst most players see not only their abilities and stature diminish, Buffon’s seems to be flourishing even more.

As the war of words erupted between Roma and Juventus back in October, Gigi intervened with timely words, to rise above the fray and allow calmer heads prevail. He knows how bad Calciopoli hurt the league, he has paid for it by sacrificing both his time and career to see that his beloved Juventus rise again to prominence, and rise they have.

Juventus is on pace to win a treble this season. This will be their fourth scudetto in a row and are odds on favorites to repeat next year.

Many factors and factions have had a hand in this current team’s success. Many names can fill these pages, deserving of mentions for the work put in to make this team what it is right now. None may be as deserving or as important as the man between the goal. The icon of Turin – Gianluigi Buffon.

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    Moderator June 1, 2015 at 12:38 pm

    yes, i know, lots of articles…and there probably will be this week. After a season like this, i want to cover as many angles as possible as well as giving everyone the chance to talk about the historic season so far and the summer ahead.

    In the summer, we will probably focus on just the confirmed transfers and a few friendly matches. Making you all aware as i know you don’t like too much content….it’s just something we want to do for now.

    • Avatar
      BelgianJuventino June 1, 2015 at 1:55 pm

      I liked this article, was a nice read. Could have been more in-depth though, same for the tae of two coaches article. Good foundation, but not really anything written that isn’t known already

      • Avatar
        Moderator June 1, 2015 at 4:12 pm

        The writer is heopfully going to submit some more work in future. it’s a good start

        • Avatar
          BelgianJuventino June 2, 2015 at 6:54 am

          Yeah it sure was a nice read. Can anyone send you possible articles or do you select your own writers?

      • Avatar
        Moderator June 1, 2015 at 4:13 pm

        and the answer to your question is ‘yes’, i sent all the questions 😉

        • Avatar
          BelgianJuventino June 2, 2015 at 6:55 am

          Haha, I like it! Always enjoyed adding a little spice to it, their reaction to it will say much about how they are

    • Avatar
      Peter June 2, 2015 at 9:30 am

      It isn’t the ammount of content that bothers some (me included), but how it pushes down articles with ongoing conversations (so basically pre and post match threads) from the front page, making it “difficult” to go back and continue the conversations. I know, it only takes 2 more clicks, but noone goes back to comment after it’s not on the ribbon. Sometimes I feel, only the same 10-20 people comment, and that’s because others don’t see a reason to, because there’s nothing to talk about.

      Of course, you can’t please everyone, and whatever you do, there will be someone who dislikes it. Users will bitch about anything, just don’t get too upset over it.

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        Moderator June 2, 2015 at 10:06 am

        I hear you – Before the site rebuild, we used HTML and i hadn;t updated the back end of the site in almost 10 years. It was such a pain to add new stories that i limited how much content went live, thats why a lot of the match stories had 500+ comments.

        Since the rebuild, things are actually better for me as a site owner because we have a partnership with the football collective and all those other great sites.

        As a result of that, we have to create new content and report on stuff thats relevant. If Pogba says something about his future then it needs to be on this site so that people can read and discuss it, even though it’s probably appeared on loads of other sites already.

        The social media age has meant news breaks on Twitter and FB before it does from the normal news agencies. As a result, i;m always going to be behind when it comes to posting news.

        The only compromise i can think is to have a forum of some kind where people can register and discuss whatever they like. We tried this before but i doubt we’ve got enough people now to make a go of it.

        Some of the other sites in the network are posting 20 stories over the space of a week – I try and keep the focus on the major ones. Wihtout doing that, this site is no longer relevant and i might as well shut it down.

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          Peter June 2, 2015 at 12:19 pm

          I completly understand, and I don’t try to force a change or anything, I can only share my experience as a reader, to give some feedback. You’re free to do whatever with it.

          Your format is a blog, and that’s nice, and as a blog we can’t expect you to keep up with the speed of twitter, so don’t even try.

          Covering rumours are the worst. I mean the ones where there’s no real source, just some website claims X club is interested in Vidal or something. There’s nothing to comment on it, other than “not gonna happen” and there’s nothing to write about it either, yet a lot of these can appear at the same time in international breaks for example. Perhaps collecting all of them, and posting it in one post would help, but this might go against the football collective requirements…

          However, articles like this one, the Q&As, the match previews are great, and they suit the format better.

          I don’t know how could you solve this “problem” with your community. Do the other sites have any? All I saw was commenting with an email address. Not much chance I see for anything to develop out of that.

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            Moderator June 2, 2015 at 2:52 pm

            I’m going to be cutting back on the crap on the transfer stuff.

            when we have definite comments from players or management, we’ll use it – Eg. Witsel has said today that talks are ongoing with Juve – That i consider to be news – Also, the stuff from Sky Italia is generally accurate,…..beyond that, the Mirrors, mails and expresses of the world continue to link vidal, pogba and others with moves away from Italy – Thay kind of stuff i’ve avoided like the plague.

            This summer we will trim it back, do honest assessements of the transfer market and cover the friendlies – I want to try and find a long term solution for the commenting on stories so it can develop. I;m still working on it,

            I really value your comments – Honest, frank and intelligent conversation with constructive feedback is what helps me take things forward and i thank you for it

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    DutchJuve June 1, 2015 at 8:59 pm

    I don’t read articles very often, but i had to read this one. Love Gigi Buffon. As big a legend as Del Piero is. Forza Gigi!