Thursday, June 17, 2021

BREAKING NEWS: Buffon to leave Juventus again at end of season but undecided on retirement

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 11 May 2021

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Gianluigi Buffon has confirmed he will leave Juventus at the end of the season but he is yet to decide if retirement beckons.

The 43-year-old re-joined the club two years ago having spent 2018-19 at Paris Saint-Germain, but he feels the two parties have reached the “end of a cycle”.

Over the course of his second spell in Turin, Buffon has been second choice to Wojciech Szczesny, playing 16 times in Serie A since the start of 2019-20.

He won his 11th league title last term, but under the guidance of his former team-mate Andrea Pirlo, 2020-21 has been a drag for the Bianconeri, who sit fifth in the table with three games to go – Inter have already claimed the Scudetto.

Now he feels it is time to move on again, though he has not come to a decision as to what comes next.

“My future is clear and outlined. This year this beautiful and very long experience with Juve will end in a definitive way,” Buffon told beIN Sports.

“Either I stop playing or if I find a situation that gives me incentives to play or have a different life experience, I take it into consideration.

“I think I gave everything for Juve. I have received everything and more than this cannot be done. We have reached the end of a cycle and it is right for me to remove the disturbance [by confirming his exit early].”

As for what has gone wrong for Juve this season, Buffon accepts there are concerns regarding the team’s mentality.

“We lacked continuity. In the end, in the games we played against the top five or six teams we often won, drew and sometimes lost, but we have always played those games evenly.

“Instead, we lost stupid points against the less-famous teams. This means that you are a team that has yet to grow in character.”

Juventus are reportedly chasing Milan goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma for next season, with the Italy international set to become a free agent.

As for Buffon, his first club Parma will likely be mentioned as a potential destination despite their relegation to Serie B.

Buffon came through Parma’s academy in the early 1990s and went on to play over 200 games for them across all competitions before Juve made him the world’s most expensive goalkeeper at the time in 2001, costing in the region of €52million.

During his six years in the Parma senior team, he helped them win the Coppa Italia, UEFA Cup and Supercoppa Italiana.

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