Gianluigi Buffon set to leave Paris Saint-Germain
What's the story?
PSG Goalkeeper and Italian football legend Gianluigi Buffon has officially announced that he will be leaving the French club at the end of the month. The 41-year-old shot stopper had signed for the French Ligue 1 Champions from Italian side Juventus in July 2018 and had signed a one year deal.
In case you didn't know...
A true legend of the modern era, Gianluigi Buffon oversaw a glorious period in Juventus' history where the Turin club won 11 Seria A titles between 2001 and 2018. He was part of the 2006 FIFA World Cup winning Italy squad and won the Golden Glove as the best goalkeeper in the tournament. Buffon is the only goalkeeper to have won the UEFA Club Footballer of the Year award, which he won after reaching the 2003 UEFA Champions League Final.
Buffon retired from international football in 2018 after having won a record 176 caps for the Azzuri. The magisterial Italian has however, faced repeated disappointment in the Champions League, losing three finals - in 2003 to AC Milan, in 2014 to Barcelona and in 2017 to Real Madrid. He had a forgettable UCL campaign this season as well, with PSG knocked out in the round of 16 by Manchester United.
The heart of the matter
As reported by BBC, Gianluigi Buffon and PSG mutually agreed to part ways, with the Italian releasing this official statement,
"I leave happy to have enjoyed this experience which has undoubtedly helped me to grow," Buffon said. "Today my adventure outside Italy comes to an end. "Ernest Hemingway wrote that there are only two places in the world where people can live happily: at home and in Paris. Today onwards, this will also apply to me: Paris, in some way, will always remain my home... Allez Paris!"
PSG Chairman Nasser Al-Khelaifi was all praise for the goalkeeping stalwart, remarking,
"I will never forget the pride that everyone at Paris St-Germain, both the club and the fans, felt when they saw Gianluigi Buffon wearing our jersey, During his time at PSG he brought his phenomenal experience and his sense of professionalism not only to his team-mates but also to all areas of the club. We will miss his warm and open personality here at the club."
It is unclear which club Buffon will look to move to next. PSG will next take the field against Inter Milan on 27th July in a pre-season friendly in Macau, China.