The Italy goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon has confirmed he will leave Juventus this summer after 17 years.
The 40-year-old star, who joined the club from Parma in 2001, revealed the news at a press conference which held at the Allianz Stadium in Turin on Thursday morning.
Buffon said,Saturday will be my last game for Juventus. I think it’s the best way to end this wonderful adventure.
“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.
The World Cup winner, 40, will lift his ninth Serie A title against Hellas Verona at the Allianz Stadium,Buffon, who joined Juventus from Parma in 2001, has ruled out joining another Italian club, saying he does not want to play in a “minor league” and could take a six-month sabbatical.
He said, “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.”
Despite retirement speculations, the 40-year-old also disclosed that he might continue playing after receiving some “exciting” proposals.
“Up until 15 days ago, it was certain and well-known that I would stop playing,” he said.
“Now I have received some proposals and exciting challenges, both on the field and off it. The most important for staying on the pitch was proposed to me by Agnelli.
He cemented his legacy as one of the greatest goalkeepers of all time in Turin with 655 appearances and 300 clean sheets to date, 11 Serie A titles, a Serie B title after the notorious relegation and four consecutive Coppa Italias.
Over the next three days, full of emotion, I will after two or three days of reflection make a definitive decision. I’ll try to follow whatever calls to my soul and my nature.”
Buffon, who will play his last match on Saturday afternoon when Juventus host Verona at the Allianz Arena, won 17 trophies with the club.
Speaking at a news conference on Thursday, he said he was “sorry for offending the referee”.
“If I saw the referee again, I would give him a hug and say that he should have taken more time with that decision,” said Buffon.
“With the feelings, emotions and disappointment of the situation, I behaved in a way that was not usual for me. After that match, I went beyond the limits with the things I said about the referee and I apologise for that.”