Legendary goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon announces retirement after 28-year career

Legendary Italian goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon announced his retirement from soccer on Wednesday, capping off an illustrious 28-year playing career that included a World Cup in 2006.

He shared his retirement on X, formerly Twitter, with the caption: That’s all folks! You gave me everything. I gave you everything. We did it together.” Buffon surely gave it everything.

He spent the majority of his club career with Juventus, which signed him from Parma for a record fee in 2001. Buffon won 10 Serie A championships and six Italian Cup championships, both records, in two separate stints with Juventus. Buffon played for Paris Saint-Germain for one season in 2018 before returning to Juventus the next year.

At 45 years old, he spent last season with his boyhood club, Parma, where he became the first men’s goalkeeper with 500 clean sheets. He also is the first goalkeeper to record a UEFA Champions League clean sheet in four separate decades.

Buffon’s legend grew after a strong World Cup run in 2006 when he finished second in Ballon d’Or voting. Italy and Buffon conceded only two goals the entire tournament, the lowest figure by a winning team. He was the last remaining player from that 2006 World Cup team, which defeated France in the final.

Overall, he appeared in five World Cups and represented his country a record 176 times. There may not be another Italian goalkeeper as great as Buffon. The thanks poured in from some of soccer’s best around the world.

PSG striker Kylian Mbappé wrote on X: “A huge honor for me to have had the chance to meet you and cross paths with your legendary career. A golden man with valuable advice that I will keep with me all my life. Good road and especially THANK YOU.”

Former Italian teammate Andrea Pirlo wrote: “Gigi means to me “the best years of our lives”. It’s not just memories that bind us, but a deep, sincere and passionate friendship. Superman of world football, from today you become a hero of our times.”

“You are the player that has worn our jersey for the longest and won the most trophies. You rank second in the all-time appearance charts and are, of course, the shotstopper with the most clean sheets to his name. You were our captain and our rock. You were simply Gigi,” Juventus wrote in a tribute.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Gianluigi Buffon, legendary Italian goalkeeper, announces retirement

Leave a Comment

Scroll to Top