Playing beyond the age of 40 is arguably a barometer of a person’s conditioning rather than ability, but Gianluigi Buffon is a rare example of lasting talent which shows no sign of diminishing even in the twilight of his career.
Buffon celebrates his 40th birthday on Sunday, providing the perfect opportunity to appreciate one of the finest careers in modern football.
Ever since bursting on to the scene as a 17-year-old at Parma, keeping a debut clean sheet against an AC Milan side spearheaded by Roberto Baggio and George Weah, Buffon has received widespread acclaim for his quality and consistency.
Providing Juventus do not win the Champions League, Buffon will be hanging up his gloves at the end of the season, bringing his illustrious career to a close.
But while the fact he remains Juve’s first-choice goalkeeper at the age of 40 is impressive on its own, to truly understand the brilliance behind his longevity, one needs to delve into the record books.
Below, we identify the 10 best Buffon records, as well as those he could yet claim for his own.
8 – No player has won more league titles than Gianluigi Buffon (8) in Serie A history. #1. pic.twitter.com/ZshNKNHIoq
— OptaPaolo (@OptaPaolo) 21 May 2017
– Most Serie A appearances by an active player (629)
– Most Champions League appearances for Juve (111)
– Most international caps for a European nation (175)
– Joint-most clean sheets kept at a single World Cup (with Iker Casillas, Pascal Zuberbuhler, Oliver Kahn, Fabien Barthez and Walter Zenga – five, in 2006)
– Longest run without conceding a goal in Serie A (974 minutes)
– Most clean sheets in a single Serie A season (21 in 2011-12 and 2015-16)
– One of just three men to go to five World Cups (1998, 2002, 2006, 2010 and 2014)
– Most expensive goalkeeper of all time (€53.5million)
– One of four players to win eight Serie A titles, all with the Bianconeri
– Most trophies won at Juve (17)
7320 – Days have passed since Gigi Buffon’s debut with the National team in 1997, since then he has won 175 international caps. Hero. pic.twitter.com/tnfPAgCt5b
— OptaPaolo (@OptaPaolo) 13 November 2017
Potential future records
– Most Juve appearances across all competitions (638, behind Alessandro Del Piero on 705)
– Juve’s Serie A appearance record (461, behind Del Piero on 478)
– Most Juve outings in UEFA club competitions (120, behind Del Piero on 130)
– Most Serie A appearances (629, behind Paolo Maldini on 647)
– First player to win nine Serie A titles
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