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Gianluigi Buffon: Italy legend retires aged 45

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Gianluigi Buffon, widely recognized as one of the greatest goalkeepers in football history, has announced his retirement from the sport at the age of 45. The former Italy goalkeeper and World Cup winner shared the news on social media, expressing gratitude to the fans and his team: “That’s all folks. You gave me everything. I gave you everything. We did it together.”

Buffon’s remarkable 28-year career comes to an end, during which he achieved numerous milestones. He lifted the World Cup in 2006 and secured 10 Serie A titles with Juventus and a Ligue 1 title with Paris St-Germain. Remarkably, he retires from football where it all began, at Parma, which is now in Serie B.

Beginning his journey in 1995 at Parma’s academy, Buffon made his Serie A debut for the club and later moved to Juventus in 2001 in a groundbreaking £32.6m transfer deal at that time, setting a world record for a goalkeeper. Although he briefly played for PSG in the 2018-19 season, the majority of his illustrious career was spent in Turin. He made a record-breaking 657 appearances in the Italian top flight and holds the distinction of being the most-capped goalkeeper of all time for Italy, with 176 appearances.

Buffon’s crowning moment came when he helped Italy secure victory in the 2006 World Cup final against France, winning 5-3 in a penalty shootout following a 1-1 draw in Berlin.

Football enthusiasts and players from around the world paid tribute to Buffon as he bid farewell to the game. The Italian national team, Serie A, former PSG teammate Kylian Mbappe, and his long-time club Juventus all honored him for his contributions to the sport. Juventus acknowledged Buffon’s unrivaled achievements, describing him as not only the best goalkeeper but also a player who personified the position and inspired others to emulate him. Furthermore, Buffon’s accomplishments include the most appearances for Juventus, ranking second in the all-time appearance charts, and holding the record for the most clean sheets as a goalkeeper.

Parma president Kyle Krause also praised Buffon’s exceptional skills, determination, and passion both on and off the pitch, sending heartfelt congratulations to the legendary champion and friend.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Goalkeeper

Who is Gianluigi Buffon?

Gianluigi Buffon is a former Italian goalkeeper widely regarded as one of the greatest goalkeepers of all time. He had an illustrious 28-year football career and achieved significant success in both domestic and international competitions.

What are some of Buffon’s career highlights?

Buffon’s career highlights include winning the FIFA World Cup with Italy in 2006. He also secured 10 Serie A titles with Juventus and a Ligue 1 title with Paris St-Germain during his tenure with these clubs. Additionally, he holds the record for the most appearances in the Italian top flight and is the most-capped goalkeeper for Italy.

When did Buffon retire from football?

Gianluigi Buffon announced his retirement from football at the age of 45. The retirement was confirmed through his social media, where he expressed gratitude to the fans and his team for their support throughout his career.

Where did Buffon begin and end his football career?

Buffon’s football journey began at Parma, where he started at the club’s academy and made his Serie A debut in 1995. His career came full circle as he ended it where it all started, at Parma, which is currently a Serie B club.

What was Buffon’s impact on the sport?

Buffon not only revolutionized the goalkeeper position but also became an inspirational figure for aspiring players. He set a world record for a goalkeeper transfer fee and earned numerous accolades throughout his career, leaving an indelible mark on football history.

How did the football world react to Buffon’s retirement?

The football community, including national teams, clubs, and players, paid heartfelt tributes to Buffon upon his retirement. Messages of appreciation and respect poured in, acknowledging his exceptional skills, dedication, and achievements in the sport.

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