Famed goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon, often hailed as one of the greatest in his position, has decided to hang up his boots at the age of 45.
Gianluigi Buffon, former Italy national team goalkeeper and World Cup champion, officially announced his retirement from football via a heartfelt social media post, saying, “That’s it, everyone. You have given me everything, and I have reciprocated. We’ve accomplished this journey together.”
Buffon concludes a successful 28-year stint in football, a career marked by World Cup glory in 2006, ten Serie A titles with Juventus, and a Ligue 1 championship with Paris St-Germain. His illustrious career concludes at Parma, the club where he debuted in 1995 and now competes in Serie B.
Despite his contract with Parma extending till 2024, Buffon, who managed 19 games in the previous season amidst injury troubles, has decided to call time on his career. He first stepped into the limelight at Parma’s academy and made his Serie A debut in November 1995 before setting a then-record transfer fee for a goalkeeper of £32.6m, moving to Juventus in 2001.
Buffon’s illustrious career primarily unfolded in Turin, barring a spell at PSG in 2018-19. He holds the record for the highest number of appearances in Italy’s top-tier football with 657 games and is the most-capped goalkeeper of all time with 176 caps for Italy.
In 2018, after Italy failed to qualify for the World Cup, Buffon announced his retirement from international football. One of his career’s most significant highlights was leading Italy to World Cup triumph in 2006, defeating France 5-3 in a penalty shootout after a 1-1 deadlock in Berlin.
Tributes Pour in for the ‘Golden Man’
The Italian national team posted a heartfelt message, “A big thank you to our number one. Grazie, Gigi!”
Serie A, Italy’s top-tier football league, remarked: “There is the history of football. And then there is Gigi Buffon. A storybook career that began and ended in one place.”
Kylian Mbappe, 24, former PSG teammate of Buffon, tweeted: “Rubbing shoulders with you and crossing paths during your legendary career was an immense honor. Your invaluable advice will remain with me for life.”
Juventus took to Twitter to pay their tribute: “A legend retires today. We’ll forever remember your saves, your smiles, and your spirit.”
In an open letter to Buffon, Juventus wrote: “On a day when football bids goodbye to its number one, it’s tough to talk about the game. You were not just the best, you were extraordinary. You defined the position of a goalkeeper and set the standard for others to follow. With the most number of trophies won and appearances made, you were our captain and our pillar. You were simply Gigi.”
Parma’s president, Kyle Krause, commented: “Gigi’s illustrious career, unmatched in terms of skill, relentless determination, and unwavering passion on and off the field, deserves commendation. Parma Calcio extends its heartfelt congratulations to a true champion and friend.”
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Gianluigi Buffon Retirement
What age is Gianluigi Buffon retiring from football?
Gianluigi Buffon is retiring from football at the age of 45.
Where did Gianluigi Buffon start and end his career?
Gianluigi Buffon began and ended his football career at Parma.
How many appearances did Gianluigi Buffon make in Serie A?
Gianluigi Buffon made a record 657 appearances in the Italian top flight, Serie A.
When did Gianluigi Buffon retire from international football?
Gianluigi Buffon retired from international football in 2018.
What were the key achievements in Gianluigi Buffon’s career?
Among Buffon’s key achievements are a World Cup win in 2006, ten Serie A titles with Juventus, and a Ligue 1 title with Paris St-Germain.
How many caps did Gianluigi Buffon achieve for Italy?
Gianluigi Buffon is the most-capped goalkeeper of all time with 176 appearances for Italy.
What was Gianluigi Buffon’s transfer fee when moving from Parma to Juventus in 2001?
When Buffon moved from Parma to Juventus in 2001, the transfer fee was £32.6m, a world record for a goalkeeper at the time.