Gianluigi was thought to be retiring three years ago, when the Juventus hierarchy decided against renewing his contract at the end of the 2017-2018 season.
Nonetheless, Paris Saint Germain thankfully offered the Italian a chance to extend his extraordinary career at the top level, and one year later Gigi was back to his adopted home in Turin, starting a new stint with his beloved Old Lady.
On Thursday, the former Bianconeri captain celebrates his 43rd birthday, just one day after earning a clean sheet against Spal in the Coppa Italia quarter finals.
Before the kickoff yesterday, the former Parma man was interviewed by Rai Sport, and here’s what he had to say as translated by Football Italia.
“I’m pretty relaxed, the course of time is inevitable! You have to accept it, go forward with great enthusiasm”.
Buffon was told that quarter-back Tom Brady is also 43 and going into the Superbowl this weekend.
“That’s good to know. It means I am not an exception, we can try to break the taboos and some stereotypes about older athletes.”
Concerning next season, the legend refused to give any promises for his fans.
“I am not even thinking about that! Someone like me at the age of 43 has to just take it one day at a time. I want to celebrate my birthday and that is already an achievement!”
On the other hand, two of Gigi’s counterparts sent their best wishes on his special day – Milan’s Gianluigi Donnarumma and Inter’s Samir Handanovic.
“Happy birthday to Super Gigi! You have always been a model to follow and still today, your tenacity and your desire to never give up is an example for everyone,” Donnarumma told Tuttosport according to Football Italia.
“I too want to join with my best wishes to Gigi Buffon”, said Handanovic.
“His way of being a goalkeeper was an inspiration for many of us who were starting in professional football.
“Over the years, as a colleague and opponent, I have continued to follow and admire him and after a few years I still remember his extraordinary saves. Happy birthday, Gigi.” added the Inter shot stopper.