Published: Thu, May 17, 2018
Sports | By Jonathan Ford

Captain Gianluigi Buffon leaving Juventus but not retiring

Captain Gianluigi Buffon leaving Juventus but not retiring

On Wednesday, an interview with Gerard Pique saw the Juventus goalkeeper admit he did not know if his career was over, and less than 24 hours later this event did little to clarify whether or not the 40-year-old was indeed at the end of his playing days.

Juventus captain Gianluigi Buffon will play his last match for the Italian champion on Saturday and has put off retirement to consider offers to play overseas.

After confirming Saturday's fixture against Verona will end his 17-year stay at the club, Buffon has refused to rule out continuing his professional career in his 40's.

Juventus won a league and cup double this season, their fourth in a row, but also suffered a bitter Champions League quarter-final exit against Real Madrid, who won with a stoppage-time penalty.

Premium Sport suggests that Liverpool are waiting to pounce if that proves to be the case, offering the former Parma shot stopper a chance to experience life outside of his homeland.

On Saturday, Buffon will make his 656th appearance for Juventus.

Juventus goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon looks on during the TIM Cup Final between Juventus and AC Milan at Stadio Olimpico
Gianluigi Buffon Announces He Is To Leave Juventus, Also Semi-Apologises For Calling Referee Michael Oliver ‘Garbage Bin Heart’

Italy's most capped player with 176, Buffon could make his global farewell on June 4 in a friendly against the Netherlands.

It was a rollercoaster season for Buffon with Italy failing to qualify for the World Cup finals for the first time in six decades. "Next week, once everything has calmed down a little bit, I will decide what will be best for me. I think it's the best way to end this wonderful adventure".

On his future plans; "The most exciting proposal for my career off the pitch has come from the president". If my future lies off the pitch, it will be necessary to undergo a training course in order to understand the right path to take and what role I could occupy.

Until about two weeks ago, I was certain I would stop playing.

'After all, players like us, who have lived the game intensely, have to keep their minds occupied and have a reason to get up, something to fight for.

Despite previously having opportunities to test his skills in other areas of the world, Buffon turned them down and admits it is a slight regret when reflecting on his career. "I've seen plenty of them down the years, so all that I ask for is your respect and affection towards me on the day".

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