Gigi Buffon will play his last game for Juventus this weekend – but there’s a suggestion that he could extend his playing career.
The 40-year-old, one of the greatest goalkeepers of all time, will pull the curtain down on a glittering 17 years with the club, whom he joined in the summer of 2001 from Parma for a then world record £23m.
Juve face Verona in their last match of the season, after which they will pick up their seventh successive Scudetto. It will be Buffon’s 640th Serie A appearance.
There had been speculation that would be that for the goalkeeper, who helped Italy win the 2006 World Cup and reach the final of the 2012 European Championships as well as picking up a host of domestic honours – but the announcement raises the prospect that he may fancy one last stab a the Champions League, or choose to move to MLS or China.
Clubs who could be looking for a short-term fix who meet that criteria include Real Madrid, Barcelona, Liverpool and Paris Saint-Germain.
Speaking at a news conference in Turin, Buffon said: “On Saturday I will play a match and this is the only thing that is certain. Then I will have a continuous dialogue with the President and he is aware of what’s going on around me. I would like to rely on his advice support and suggestions.
“15 days ago it was known I wanted to stop playing football but now some proposals on and off the pitch have arrived and one of them, off the pitch, came from Andrea (Agnelli, Juventus president). I will decide next week to follow my spirit.”