Tuesday May 9 2017
Gigi the GOAT

If there is someone out there who doesn’t admire and respect Gigi Buffon, both as a goalkeeper and a man, then Susy Campanale thinks they are deeply wrong.

You often see the term ‘GOAT’ appear on social media now and, after realising it doesn’t refer to a bovid, it is regularly bandied about for those who in no conceivable way can be considered the Greatest Of All Time. That is a huge expanse of history to cover and only one coveted spot in their particular niche. There can only be one GOAT. Having said all that, in terms of goalkeepers, it’s Gianluigi Buffon.

You may disagree with this statement. Here is why you are wrong. Buffon has been at the top of the sport for well over 20 years, parrying shots from the brightest talents who weren’t even born when he was already at a World Cup. There are few more reactive shot-stoppers out there even now, let alone in his prime, and despite all the praise of Manuel Neuer’s sweeper-keeper antics, you may have noticed that SuperGigi is also excellent with the ball at his feet. He doesn’t run out to midfield every 10 minutes because there is no need to. That’s what defences and Leonardo Bonucci are for.

Above all else, Buffon has grown to become a true captain and great man who anyone in football should appreciate. His post-match comments are always respectful, humble and avoid the banal soundbites we have to deal with after every other game. He speaks in complete sentences and has a point to get across, not muttering just for the sake of it. When there’s a crisis, he is the man you want to rally the troops and get everyone focused. When his teammates risk getting ahead of themselves, Gigi’s old head will talk them back down to earth, because he’s seen and done it all.

As for the ridiculous ‘scandals’ that people try to point to, they are non-existent. The idea he had far-right leanings were borne from misunderstandings and his own self-confessed ignorance. He didn’t know the motto ‘Boia chi molla’ (Those who give up are killing the cause) was a Fascist-era slogan. He probably couldn’t have known, as back then he was a teenager and we didn’t have Wikipedia to look this stuff up. Dark times, people. Dark, dark times… He placed a few bets on games he wasn’t involved in, which at that time was not against the rules. Big deal. He even went through an entirely amicable divorce with no splashy headlines or kiss-and-tell stories. Buffon insults nobody, disrespects nobody and disowns Juventus fans for Superga graffiti.

No doubt someone will have now noted ‘well he hasn’t lifted the Champions League or the Ballon d’Or, has he?’ The Ballon d’Or is like the Oscar for Best Director – rarely goes to the right person and is clearly voted for by those who have seen about three films that year, but know the big name, especially if he’s a striker.

It’s a team sport and only one side in all of Europe can win that trophy per year. Winning a World Cup is harder and he’s achieved that – for Italy, I might add, but being an Azzurri legend apparently doesn’t warrant respect from fans who can’t see past the Juventus shirt. Italian football gets criticised enough without us calcio supporters actively hoping another club loses in Europe.

It pains me to see people snipe at Buffon with images of Andriy Shevchenko’s 2003 Champions League-winning penalty. What tiny, pathetic creatures to do such a thing. What futile little trolls. I support Milan and screamed louder than anyone when that spot-kick went in, but I know football is about winning, not relishing the tears of your opponents. If you haven’t learned that yet, well, then grow up. Be more like Gianluigi Buffon. It can only be an improvement.

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Have your say...
Funny how both Milan club are MADE IN CHINA !!! LOL
on the 11th May, 2017 at 1:07am
Well thank goodness for least one person on here knows that if you use your smart phone or personal computer you can simply and i mean it idiots it is very simple to search match fixing in italy and how it started hahaha and at the end of it even if you still think juve cheat it would be even worse because it would mean we are even better at that hahhahah see next year for more cheatings and beatings losers hahahaha
on the 10th May, 2017 at 11:32pm
Indisputable. Buffon has proven himself time and time again, he has seen off competition to be considered the best in the world from the likes of Toldo, Kahn, Casillas, Cech, Julio Cesar and Neuer.

That he has done so in such a classy manner and has remained consistently among the very best for 2 decades has set a golden standard for all to aspire.

Grazie Buffon for your service to JUVE, Italy and football as whole. Now it is Time For Cardiff!
on the 10th May, 2017 at 5:42pm
@Milanista LOL Milan has been caught cheating by the FIGC twice...Juve'm not really sure how you can cry about Juve being such horrible cheats when Milan has been caught doing it more than any other team in the league..
on the 10th May, 2017 at 3:31pm
@Milanista: You also seem forgetful about AC Milan part in "calciopoli"... and Berlusconi's reputation... You are only embarrassing yourself with these comments.
on the 10th May, 2017 at 10:15am
Milanista: You are confused between sportsmanship and professionalism. For example a defender can be an angel as a person but also from time to time HAS TO commit tactical fouls and get booked for his team to avoid a goal. Same thing: A goalkeeper is not on the field to ref the game and make calls... he is there ONLY to keep a clean-sheet.
on the 10th May, 2017 at 10:09am
Vindician- failing to guard a player during game has nothing to do with low morals, lying after a game about an incident, and even saying he would've lied to the ref about it in order to win is something else completely, and every Milanista remembers perfectly that goal, it was such a scandal that we cant forget, only Juventus fans forget, because the refs are always with them and they never wanna remember all the favors they get.
on the 10th May, 2017 at 2:32am

To paraphrase Suzy: What a tiny, pathetic creature you are.

You are seriously harping on one goal nobody even remembers? That non-event is your reason for disliking Gigi? That is like writing of Maldini, the greatest Italien player of all time, for failing to stop South Korea from scoring the winner in 2002.

What a tragic, sad figure indeed...
on the 9th May, 2017 at 11:45pm
some Milanistas seem to have forgotten the real reason the 06 title wasn't awarded to them. it's for the best probably, they might have lost respect for their club and players if they chose to remember. if you check you'll see that there was actually one other club that stood between Inter and the title and it was still awarded to Inter, if one club "bribed the refs" and you lost respect for them because of it then how can the same not be true for the other clubs that were imlicated?
on the 9th May, 2017 at 9:15pm
He even wins the hearts of Lazio ultras at the Stadio Olimpico curva nord whom he always approaches and greets before the kick off of every Lazio-Juventus game. As a Lazio fan, it's a strange but touching event for me. Buffon is an extra ordiniary character.
on the 9th May, 2017 at 5:54pm
@ Milanista get off your high horse. Berlusconi bought you success so just disregard all the anti-mafia laws he repealed, the scandals and calciopoli. His corruption is endless, changes the law to avoid prison but he is red and black so look the other way. The official AC Milan website isn't above using fake pictures doctoring the balls position to suit their version but you lose respect for others lying. Buffon didn't lie about it, he said his job is to goalkeep not refferee.
on the 9th May, 2017 at 4:24pm
Gigi Buffon is an ABSOLUTE LEGEND & PROFESSIONAL !! He,along with loyal others: Del Piero, Conte, Ferrara, Tacchinardi stayed with Juve through both the great & low point times. Nearly won everything with them - hopefully he soon lifts the U.C.L in Cardiff to complete the set ...

Would love to see Gianluigi "Gigio" Donnarumma come in in summer - the heir in the Azzuri & hopefully to Juve's next #1 too ....

Forza Gigi Buffon !!
Forza Juve !!
on the 9th May, 2017 at 3:51pm
Without question, Sr. Buffon is the best ever at his position. I greatly dislike Juve but I respect all of their players past and present (Milan tifoso). I believe he is the last of a breed of men who value other humans as much as themselves and are born leaders. Going forward, the skills on the pitch will be ever greater, but the players will be more and more self involved. Gianluigi is the GOAT...
on the 9th May, 2017 at 3:41pm
As a Milan fan i completely lost respect for him as a football player after the Muntari goal incident, a man who lies about what happened and even justifies lying in order to win a football game isnt worth a respect as a player, yes, he is a great goalkeeper, no doubt about that, but as a sportsman who is supposed to be a role model he failed big time, and it suits him to be in Juventus a team who did everything in order to win, even bribe refs.
on the 9th May, 2017 at 3:34pm
Absolute legend who breathes class. Nothing but respect for Gigi, would be more than happy to watch him lift the UCL. Unbelievable he's still at the top and if Juve go all the way this year I think he could be looking at a Balon D'or.
on the 9th May, 2017 at 1:00pm
I'm fine with dark humor and milder forms of harmless trolling. In this hyper-connected digital era, it's almost inevitable that you'll find negative statements made against just about anyone. Fortunately, I come from a generation that grew up without the internet. We understood the importance of values like respect and etiquette. In my eyes, there are some players worthy of respect regardless of which team they played for -- I have nothing but respect for Baggio, Baresi, Javier Zanetti.
on the 9th May, 2017 at 12:02pm
This Monaco tie is still very dangerous and anything can happen with those attacking players on the pitch.

I feel like not just for Gigi but for the club, the fans and everyone else that this has to be the year we lift the UCL. Otherwise there will always be this mental block.

I just want us to kill off the game tonight and complete the job ASAP so that we can then enjoy the next month knowing we've got a final at the end of it.

We must be so focused tonight tho as we have everything to lose
on the 9th May, 2017 at 11:56am
Gigi is the G O A T, what a player and role model.
on the 9th May, 2017 at 9:21am
Gigi is the G O A T, no question.
on the 9th May, 2017 at 9:20am
Am die hard Milan fan but glory should be given to those that deserves it. Buffon is not just a great keeper but a true legend that will always by many football fan. I love you Gigio and hope our own Gigio (Donnorumma) will be the one to surpass you.
on the 9th May, 2017 at 9:05am

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