Gianluigi Buffon announced his retirement from competitive football after failing to help Italy qualify for the 2018 FIFA World Cup to be held in Russia. Italy lost 1-0 on aggregate to Sweden as they failed to qualify for the quadrennial event for the first time since 1958.
The image of a weeping Buffon at the end of that match is sure to haunt football fans for years to come as Buffon has been an absolute legend of the game. With 175 appearances for Italy, he remains their most capped player and is one of the greatest goalkeepers of all time, if not the greatest.
He played for Juventus in Serie A, earning numerous accolades throughout his career. In an illustrious career spanning nearly two decades, Buffon captained both Italy and Juventus successfully with the biggest achievement being the 2006 World Cup triumph. In a tense final, Buffon emerged as the hero as Italy beat France 5-3 on penalties.
Let us take a look at some of the best saves in Buffon's incredible journey
#5 Italy vs Paraguay, 1998 International friendly
It was probably this save that showed the world what Buffon was made of, as he pulled it off so early into his career at the tender age of 20. In that particular game against Paraguay, Buffon made an incredible save against Hugo Brizuela.
Barely three yards out, Brizuela tapped the ball towards the goal. But with an insane reflex action save, Buffon denied him the goal. Brizuela's reaction said the whole story as he could not believe his luck. That was the start of something great that the football world was going to witness, as Buffon evolved into a world-class goalkeeper.