Gianluigi Buffon joins PSG


After 17 years at Juventus, Gianluigi Buffon will defend another goal: PSG’s one. The legendary goalkeeper has reached agreement with the French club on a one-year contract with an optional second one. Buffon and the Old Lady had planned his exit at the end of the 2017/2018 season and the Turin team offered to train him to become either an executive or a coach, but the desire to play was evidently still there.

The 40-year-old goalkeeper collected 656 appearances with Bianconeri and won 11 Scudetti (two revoked for the Calciopoli scandals), four Coppa Italia and five Supercoppa Italia. He holds a slew of record: all-time minutes played with Juventus in all competition, most caps with Italy (176), longest consecutive run without conceding a goal in Serie A (974 minutes) and most clean sheets with the Azzurri (77) are among the most prestigious ones.

Buffon was phenomenal in the 2006 World Cup with Italy and that triumph led to a second-place in the Balloon d’Or that year, just behind Fabio Cannavaro. He won the UEFA Cup in 1999 with Parma but the Champions League remains his white whale. He lost thrice in the final, against Milan, Barcelona and Real Madrid. He will get another shot with the Paris-based side.

Buffon’s level of performance has not decreased over the last few seasons: he rested more as he got older, but was still durable. His explosivity and his reflexes are still there and his command and leadership are immense. Juventus have named Wojciech Szczesny his heir, but they have also brought in Mattia Perin, so there could be some competition down the line. PSG have two goalkeepers with starting experience in the roster, Alphonse Areola and Kevin Trapp, at least one of them is likely to leave now.

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