Juventus President Andrea Agnelli urged a Ballon d’Or recognition for captain Gianluigi Buffon after he renewed his contract to June 2015.
The patron held a joint Press conference with Buffon today in order to announce the news. Click here for video of the full event.
“It seems that in recent months you have been more worried about this day arriving than we were,” smiled Agnelli to the gathered journalists.
“Gigi Buffon is our captain, the captain of Juventus and the captain of the Nazionale. His contract has been extended until June 2015, which will bring him to his 14th season with the Bianconeri.
“I don’t think I need to add anything to the history he has written for Juventus, as he is already in the pantheon of the greats to have worn this jersey.
“He showed desire, strong desire, to continue this journey. We are perfectly aware of that, because a few months ago all it took was a glance for me to prolong this contract.”
Buffon revealed he wanted a one-year extension rather than two, so that he could keep on his toes.
“He knows that it is up to him and based on his motivation, as he has always very honestly stated. He has motivation today and that is why he signed for another two years. If the future reserves another page for him, then it’s Gigi’s motivation that will tell us... He knows that Juventus is his home and the doors will always be open.
“Buffon has won five Scudetti on the pitch and lifted the World Cup, but what really speaks for him are not the statistics. It’s his personality, his honesty, his leadership both on and off the field, his fairness and transparency.
“When he has an opinion, he won’t hesitate to tell you it. This means when there is a discussion with Gigi, it will always be constructive.”
President Agnelli also made an appeal to the Ballon d’Or selection committee.
“I thought back and the only individual prize Gigi has never received is the Ballon d’Or. We looked into the history of this trophy and only once has a goalkeeper had the honour of lifting it, that Lev Yashin who was a childhood hero for me and Gigi.
“My hope is that in these two years Gigi can interrupt that negative statistic to bring the Ballon d’Or back to Italy and back to a goalkeeper, because that would be the just recognition for what Gigi represents in the world of football.”