Gianluigi Buffon will rejoin Parma next season, according to Fabrizio Romano. Buffon announced that he would be leaving Juventus when his contract expires at the end of June. The legendary Italian keeper began his career at Parma, making his debut all the way back in 1995.
Gianluigi Buffon to Rejoin Parma From Next Season
Gianluigi Buffon Reunites with Boyhood Club
Buffon began his illustrious career with Parma, making his professional debut at just 17 years of age. That came against AC Milan, on November 19, 1995, keeping a clean sheet in a 0-0 draw. Now at the grand old age of 43, Buffon will link up with Parma once again.
Remarkably, Buffon is set to sign a two-year deal with Parma, meaning he could still stand between the sticks when he’s 45! Parma were relegated to Serie B this season, finishing bottom of the top flight table with just three wins. It won’t be the first time Buffon has played in the second tier. He remained loyal to Juventus in the 2006/07 season, when they were relegated due to their involvement in the Calciopoli match-fixing scandal.
Buffon will hope that he can lead Parma back to Serie A, just as he did in 2007 with Juventus. It’s a stark contrast to the successful Parma side of the 90’s that he was a major part of. He enjoyed a six-year spell with one of Italy’s best clubs at the time, never finishing lower than fifth. Parma reached their peak alongside Buffon in the 1998/99 season.
A star-studded team that featured the likes of Lilian Thuram, Hernan Crespo and Enrico Chiesa achieved the double that season, winning the Coppa Italia and the UEFA Cup. Buffon would only remain for a further two seasons after their success. He joined Juventus for £32.6 million, a record fee for a goalkeeper at the time.
Buffon’s Time at Juventus Comes to an End
After 19 seasons across 20 years at Juventus, Buffon will say goodbye to the Bianconeri for good. Buffon made 685 appearances for the club, bettered only by his former teammate Alessandro Del Piero (705). During his long career, he has been widely regarded as one of the best goalkeepers of his generation.
He won an incredible ten Serie A titles with Juventus, as well as five Coppa Italias with the club. The one trophy that did elude him however, was the Champions League. Buffon lost three finals with Juventus, an unwanted record for Gigi.
He has also enjoyed a stellar career with the Italy national side. His 176 caps is more than anyone else, and includes glory at the 2006 World Cup. Although he hasn’t been called up since 2018, Buffon has refused to rule out being called up again in the future. According to an earlier tweet by Romano, Buffon has dreams of being the 3rd choice keeper for the 2022 World Cup. As far as having experienced players in your side goes, you won’t do any better than Buffon.
It means that across all competitions for club and country, Buffon has made an incredible 1,130 appearances. For the record, that puts him sixth in the all time list. He looks certain to overtake Xavi (1,136) and Roberto Carlos (1,138). He’ll have to keep going for a while longer if he wants the all-time record mind. Buffon still needs a further 257 appearances to reach Peter Shilton’s level.
220 of those appearances came in his first stint at Parma, where he kept 85 clean sheets. 21 years after his 220th, Buffon will make his 221st (and more) next season with Parma. Should he achieve instant promotion, he could then break Marco Balotta’s record to become the oldest player in Serie A history.
Embed from Getty Images