Juventus president Andrea Agnelli says goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon deserves to win the FIFA Ballon d’Or before he retires as a reward.
Barcelona star Lionel Messi has won the previous four editions of the prestigious individual award, but club supremo hopes the Italy international can bring the prize back to Serie A.
“History states that from 1978 until 2007, the Ballon d’Or was regularly won by players competing in Serie A,” he said at a press conference.
“After this 30-year period, the trophy has subsequently been away from Italy for five years. My hope is that Gigi manages to halt the negative run by bringing it back in the next two years.
“Given that just one goalkeeper, (Lev) Yashin, has had the honour of lifting it, I think it would be a correct acknowledgment of what Gigi means to Juventus and the world of football as a whole.”
The 34-year-old Buffon inked a new deal with Juventus until June 2015 on Wednesday.