Italian great Gianluigi Buffon set to announce retirement

Italian great Gianluigi Buffon set to announce retirement

Veteran Gianluigi Buffon has confirmed that he will leave Juventus this summer after spending incredible 17 years with The Old Lady.

The event at Juventus Stadium was announced earlier this week and some familiar faces in the audience served to underline its significance as former team-mate Pavel Nedved - now a club director - and Giorgio Chiellini stood close by.

Buffon will walk away from the game as one of the most decorated footballers in history, having won 22 trophies in Italy during his spells at Parma and Juventus.

He enjoyed his career highlight when winning the 2006 World Cup with Italy, but the total body of his work makes him arguably the greatest and most decorated keeper in history. He could well make his worldwide retirement official after a friendly on June 4 against the Netherlands.

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'I can not thank the president for his kind words. "We have shared the Bianconeri dressing room for many years and he possesses all of the values required to wear that armband", Buffon said. I wish him the best and feel full of affection for him.

It seems an appropriate time for Buffon to retire, having previously stated he would walk away at the end of the season unless Juventus won the Champions League - a dream that was crushed in dramatic fashion at the quarter-final stage after he was sent off for a foul in the area and Real Madrid converted the resulting last-gasp penalty.

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"I really don't think it's time for goodbye", Veronica Buffon said.

'I'm very emotional, but I arrive today with happiness and fulfilment.

"Next week, after a few days of calm reflection, I will make a definite and certain decision".

"If my future lies off the pitch, it will be necessary to undergo a training course in order to understand the right path to take and what role I could occupy", he added.

"If I decide to continue it will be to fight for big things, because that's what I live for".

"I was a volleyball player, I played in Serie A and in the national team, and I quit quite young, at 27, because I had nothing left to give, I felt deflated and felt the need to start a family".

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