Sport Italy's Buffon to play last game for Juventus on Saturday

15:11  17 may  2018
15:11  17 may  2018 Source:   reuters.com

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That, obviously, won’t happen based on the disaster that was known as Italy ’ s World Cup qualifying adventures. So, that means Buffon ’s last dance will almost certainly be this Saturday against Hellas Verona at what better be the best atmosphere at Allianz Game Time Thread: Juventus vs. AC Milan.

Gianluigi Buffon will return to the Juventus starting XI against Atalanta, as Massimiliano Allegri sticks with 4-3-3. Words: Elio Salerno. Following the Bianconeri’ s win over Chievo at the Bentegodi on Saturday evening

Gianluigi Buffon standing in front of a crowd: Serie A - Juventus vs Bologna© REUTERS/Massimo Pinca Serie A - Juventus vs Bologna

Italy's talismanic goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon, considered by many to be the greatest-ever in his position, will play his last match for Juventus after 17 years at the club when they host Verona in Serie A on Saturday.

Yet the 40-year-old, who has won nine Serie A titles with Juventus including the last seven in a row, stopped short of announcing his retirement from the sport in a news conference on Thursday.

Buffon, close to tears at times, said that until two weeks ago he had been set to end his playing career, but changed his mind after receiving "very interesting" proposals.

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Gianluigi Buffon is still recovering from Italy ' s failure to qualify for the World Cup and won't play for Juventus at Sampdoria on Sunday. Napoli, Juve to play last games simultaneously. Napoli May 1, 2018 Ben Gladwell.

“ Playing for a draw isn’t in my make-up,” said Roma coach Eusebio Di Francesco. “You go out onto the pitch to win. “The game could always end in a draw, but I don’t like “I’m very proud because we’ve done in seven years what only men with a capital M can do,” Buffon told Juventus TV. “It’ s incredible.

"Saturday will be my last game for Juventus. I think it's the best way to end this wonderful adventure," he said.

"For now, I only know that Saturday I will play a game. Until a few days ago it was certain that I would stop playing. Now there are some very interesting proposals," he said.

Buffon had planned to end his career at the 2018 World Cup, which would have been his sixth, but Italy astonishingly failed to qualify for the first time since 1958.

The keeper has remained remarkably loyal to the Turin side, refusing to leave them even after they were relegated to Serie B in 2006 over the Calciopoli match-fixing scandal, which also saw them stripped of a further two Serie A titles.

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Gianluigi Buffon says he will never really retire from playing and will be available for Juventus or Italy even when he is 80. One regret Buffon has is not finishing his career with a sixth trip to a World Cup, Italy having been beaten by Sweden in the qualifying play -offs last month.

Gianluigi Buffon has seemingly played his last Champions League game for Juventus . 10. David Alaba (Bayern Munich) – 6.97. He’ s been a fantastic servant not only for Juventus , for Italy , for football in general.

Buffon said he would not consider playing for a lower league team.

"I am certainly not someone who thinks it is right to end my career in the third or fourth level division. I am a competitive animal and I wouldn't be able to live or feel at ease in that situation," he said.

Juventus won a league and cup double this season, their fourth in a row, but also suffered a bitter Champions League quarter-final exit against Real Madrid, who won with a stoppage-time penalty.

Buffon was sent off for protesting the decision and then launched a furious tirade against referee Michael Oliver and faces disciplinary action from UEFA.

"It has been a season with some shocking and unexpected lows but also incredible highs and, yet again, we gave an incredible response," said Buffon, who won the World Cup in 2006 but has never collected a Champions League winners medal.

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