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Gianluigi Buffon, the world champion, has retired his gloves

A surprise for both his Italian fans and his international fans. An announcement that has been floating around for a while, but that the renowned Italian goalie appears to have attempted to avoid as much as possible. A sad and upsetting departure, these last days are sore for the most sentimental of the World Cup won by Italy over France in 2006, or for Juventus fans. After 28 years at the greatest level, Buffon has hung up his gloves, and the discussion over who was the strongest Italian goalkeeper ever appears to be more intense than ever.

Dino Zoff, the iconic and eternal goalie of Juventus, Lazio, and Fiorentina, refuses to hand down the scepter of goalie number one. There is only one monarch on the throne, but Gianluigi Buffon has demonstrated indisputably that he possesses the substance to make it his own.
Let’s go over the highlights of what many consider to be one of the best goalkeepers in football history.

Gianluigi Buffon and Dino Zoff in 2018
Gianluigi Buffon and Dino Zoff in 2018 | Credit
The numbers are values, and his speak clearly: he was a great, said the 81-year-old Zoff to the Corriere della Sera, and I quickly recognized who we were dealing with. Despite his youth, he was a full-fledged doorman. If he was more powerful than me? That is what everyone says. No, I don’t believe so. Assume I can share a podium with him and Enrico Albertosi.

-Dino Zoff (translated)

Check out this video prepared by the Parma team to honor his career!

The best of “Superman”

The Predestined Child’s Beginnings

Born from a sporting family, featuring an A1 basketball player uncle and a three-time national heavyweight champion mother.
He grew up in the Canaletto and Perticata youth, and in 1991 he moved to Parma, where he was compelled to conquer all the young tools. He made his senior team debut for Parma against Milan in 1995, when he was 17 years old. It was during this time period (from 1995 to 2001) that he earned the infamous nickname Superman due to technical abilities much exceeding the average of Italian goalkeepers.

Gianluigi Buffon in 2005
Gianluigi Buffon in 2005 | Credit

From Parma to the world of those who matter

The new millennium provides a breath of fresh air for Gianluigi, who was purchased by Juventus in 2001, becoming the most expensive purchase in the club’s history (a record that will be broken only in 2016). In his first year here, at the age of 23, he won the Italian Super Cup, advanced to the Champions League final, and was named the competition’s best player, putting his name back on the list of champions. He was the first goalie in history to obtain such honor.

The years that follow are extremely punishing for the extreme defender. Juventus is relegated to Serie B as a result of the historic discussions in Calciopoli. The goalkeeper, who has always carried the Bianconeri flag, will be one of the protagonists in bringing the prestigious club back to his home: Serie A.

The goalkeeper in his first game with the Juventus | Credit

From Superman to Captain: The Victory Era

After the departure of Alex Del Piero, the 2006 world champion, he was appointed captain in 2012.
We may certainly place the best physical condition, mental state, and performance of the Italian goalkeeper in club starts in this sequence of uninterrupted championships for Juventus (with 7 titles won from 2011 to 2018).
After placing fourth in the UEFA Best Player in Europe Award and earning the renowned Golden Foot Award in 2016, sports newspapers featured only his name on the main page. He was one of 30 nominees for the Ballon d’Or that year, which was won by Cristiano Ronaldo.

Not bad for a conquest that adds to the considerably more renowned second place of 2006.

He left Juventus in 2016 after 17 seasons, 6 Italian Cup titles, 7 Italian Super Cup titles, 10 Serie A titles, and 1 Serie B title.

Gianluigi Buffon with the captain’s sash | Credit

The last steps

He came to Paris (Paris Saint-Germain) at the age of 40, but the new experience was unsatisfactory. Perhaps due to his age and a reduction in performance, he returned to Juventus the next year to make his fans fall in love with him again.

On November 12, he became the second-oldest player in Champions League history (41 years, 10 months, and 3 days), protecting the goal of the team that helped him achieve glory.

On June 17, 2021, he returned to his hometown of Parma, to the squad that made him famous and allowed him to fly. Even at the age of 42, he continued to set records, becoming the first goalkeeper in history to reach 500 clean sheets.

On August 2, 2023, he bids farewell to his supporters, and thanks those who, for better or worse, have always acknowledged his significance in the field.

Gianluigi Buffon in his last games with Parma
Buffon in his last games with Parma | Credit

Gianluigi Buffon is more than just a gifted goalkeeper. He is a global football ambassador who has left an everlasting imprint on the hearts of millions of people worldwide. His legacy is more than medals and personal records; it is a tribute to the human and sporting greatness that can be attained through devotion, passion, and an exceptional work ethic. And, in addition to supporting and sympathizing for the clubs, we appreciate him for making us dream.

How Juventus said goodbye to its goalkeeper
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