Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Buffon ready to fight for PSG place but not targeting Champions League

SoccerNews in UEFA Champions League 9 Jul 2018

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Gianluigi Buffon says it would be “mad” for Paris Saint-Germain to make the Champions League their top target as the goalkeeping legend prepares to fight for a starting spot.

Buffon agreed a one-year deal with the Ligue 1 champions, ending a 17-year stay in Italy with Juventus.

Alphonse Areola usurped Kevin Trapp as PSG’s regular goalkeeper last season and Buffon will battle to be the first choice under new coach Thomas Tuchel.

“I’ve always been the number one, in Parma, Turin and in the national team,” Buffon said at his unveiling on Monday.

“But nobody assured me that I would be number one. I gained that status.

“I’m 40, healthy, so I will do my best to be important for PSG and to help my team-mates, not only the goalkeepers.”

Although Buffon won nine Serie A titles and four Coppas Italia with Juventus he never tasted glory in the Champions League, losing in the final three times.

PSG are also yet to win the tournament despite huge investment in their squad – including a world-record deal for Neymar – and domestic dominance, but Buffon is not solely focusing on European titles.

“I have had this goal long before PSG. I think it’s not PSG’s obsession, but it’s clearly a very interesting title to get,” added Buffon.

“I accepted the offer because the conditions are reunited for me to become a better man and a better player. I also think that I can help the team to improve.

“But at the beginning of a season, you can’t focus on a goal, only mad people do that and we’re not mad here.”

Buffon’s contract has the option for a second season, but the veteran is not ready to think about when he might retire.

“I stopped counting,” Buffon said. “When I was 30 I thought I would play only two more years and then I was 34, 36…

“I don’t want to think about it anymore, it is negative. I will play until my body allows me to play.”

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