Wednesday May 3 2017
Buffon: 'Objective is to be missed'

Gigi Buffon insists his objective is not to win the Ballon d’Or, but “to prove I deserve to be here and to end my career with people saying they’re sad I quit.”

The Bianconeri captain made another series of stunning saves this evening in a 2-0 Champions League semi-final win in Monaco, extending his clean sheet in the tournament to 621 minutes of football.

“My objective is to always prove I deserve to be here and to end my career in a condition where people say they are sad I quit,” Buffon told Mediaset Premium.

“I don’t know if I’m achieving the objective or not, but playing in a team like this undoubtedly helps.

“I don’t watch back the saves, so I can’t judge them, but the important thing is to be ready when the team needs me. As long as I can do that, I consider myself satisfied and happy.

“The team played well, the kind of approach we needed to win in Monaco and emerge with a clean sheet. If you don’t have this solidity, but also this quality when attacking, it would all be more complicated.

“As we said after Barcelona, the target is to get better, that is why we work and train every day. As there isn’t much time left, the ideal would be to use that time to make further steps forward.”

Buffon was asked if he could win the Ballon d’Or in one of his final campaigns.

“It’s not something I think about, nor do I miss it. I spend so much energy to keep myself in shape and perform well in these games, to be of use to my teammates.

“Playing for a great side also helps me, as there’s nothing better than to work surrounded by satisfying sensations. When you share joy with your teammates, having family and friends in the stands who are happy for you, and allow you to be happy with them, is the greatest gratification.”

Buffon was asked about swapping shirts and revealed another reason why he is so highly-respected by the world of football.

“I am happy to change shirt with anyone, as it’s a sign of respect. I remember when I was a young lad, I asked to swap shirts with someone at the end of the game and he said no. I was really upset, so I decided if I became a great player, I would be ashamed to behave like that.

“Who was it? I can’t tell!”

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