Wednesday May 23 2018
Gigi, save yourself

With Gigi Buffon yet to make a decision, Adam Digby implores the Juventus legend to hang up his gloves while he’s still considered the greatest of all time.

“Lord, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference,” reads American theologian Reinhold Niebuhr’s Serenity Prayer, words that are often cited, quoted and used in difficult situations.

After a stellar career played out at the highest level, Gigi Buffon – a man labelled an inspirational leader who has regularly motivated his teams in arduous circumstances – should hopefully be able to muster the appropriate understanding of his current position.

However, at a specially arranged press conference last week, the Juventus skipper dropped a bombshell. Widely expected to retire once the club’s 2017-18 campaign came to an end, Buffon instead informed the journalists in attendance that he was only announcing that the Serie A match with Hellas Verona would be his last for the Bianconeri.

Yes, despite being offered a number of off-field roles by the Turin giants, the Carrara native was not satisfied and had decided to assess various offers to keep playing. Paris Saint-Germain are now said to be in advanced talks while Real Madrid, Liverpool, Chelsea and even Manchester City are all believed to have expressed an interest in signing him.

Could we really be about to witness the sight of Buffon – who has become almost as synonymous with Juve as the famous black and white stripes on their shirts – running out for a different club next term? Fans of the Old Lady are understandably concerned at the thought. They have already looked on in horror as Alessandro Del Piero was basically forced to move on, spending time with Sydney FC and Delhi Dynamos because he was not ready to call time on his career.

Buffon’s current team-mates are less worried, with Andrea Barzagli speaking out about what the future may hold for his long-time friend. “I don’t know where he’ll go, it’s a surprise,” the veteran defender told Sky Italia at the weekend. “He’ll make the right choice. I have always told him everything and we have a great rapport. We’ll miss him, he’s a leader and the greatest goalkeeper of all time.”

It is to be hoped that the 2006 World Cup winner does indeed show sound judgment, because that opinion of him expressed by Barzagli should not be diminished by a prolonged end to his playing days. There is little doubt that many people share the same opinion, the incredible standard of Buffon’s performances seeing him surpass Gordon Banks, Lev Yashin and even Dino Zoff in the pantheon of goalkeeping legends.

Clearly he loves to play and – one or two errors aside – has still been excellent this term, but hanging around for another season will surely see his skills begin to diminish in the near future. Yes, he has repaid any debt to Juventus and their fans with 17 years of exemplary service, but the Ligue 1 side are no more likely to win the Champions League than the Bianconeri, so it’s not as if this can be explained as a man chasing his dreams.

Nobody wants to watch a subpar Buffon trotting out and conceding goals that he would’ve stopped easily in his prime and after seeing him every day in training this year, Juve have clearly decided his time is up. He has nothing left to prove and everything to lose. It is now up to him to realise that too, or else risk tarnishing the legacy he has spent a lifetime building for one last payday in the French capital.

Father Time remains undefeated, and even the best goalkeeper ever cannot be expected to deny him for too much longer. It’s time to walk away, and hopefully Gigi Buffon has the wisdom to understand that.

Have your say...
I Love Gigi he is everything that exemplifies Juve, so for me there is no greater goalkeeper than Gigi! But as great as he is, time has caught up with him and unlike ADP and Totti before him he has the chance to make the right decision and quit at the end of the season! It will be tough to see such a great quit the game but it will solidify his legendary status and make him a unicorn among legends!
on the 26th May, 2018 at 9:24pm

Hahaha.. That would be sooo ugly for Gigi if Juve win the Champions League and beat PSG in the process.
on the 26th May, 2018 at 5:36pm
Buffon I am a big fan, plz retire I have seen other athletes go to long it can get ugly. Who cares about the champions league you won the world cup! Imagine if you go to PSG and Juventus win the champions league. Go out on top with all of our respect. You have truley done it all.
on the 26th May, 2018 at 3:22pm
Adam Digby, save yourself
on the 26th May, 2018 at 2:29am
Buffon is still one of the top five keepers in the world. Sad to say but in two yrs when he does retire it will probably still be that way. I say let the man keep going. On another note that pirlo send off game made me sad to see that there are still players thesedays that cant play like those guys. Look at inzaghi. im sure the milan fans wished they had a player like him again and delpiero with those same moves beating defenders. I think im old now lol
on the 25th May, 2018 at 7:25pm
Romalat, yeah totally, Alex Del Piero's legacy totally tarnished because he decided to play on, right?
on the 25th May, 2018 at 12:02pm
I love how journalists feel like it's their position to give advice to someone about a situation they've never found themselves in. Stay quiet and let the man do what he feels is right and best for him. How many times do we someone of his quality last this long and even still have contracts worth large sums thrown at them at the supposed end of their careers? He's a generational player and brings a lot of experience with him. Most importantly, he feels the desire to continue and teams want him.
on the 25th May, 2018 at 11:57am
name ONE sport legend(true legend in the sporting and social sense) who hung around a year or two too long and whose career was tarnished by doing that. Jordan?Ruth?Mays?Pele?Ali?Gretzky?Nickalus? Should I keep going? We consider them all superstars of their sport and think of their greatness not of diminishing skills at a later age
on the 24th May, 2018 at 7:52pm
Everyone should do what they feel best in life (at least in situations like these). It would be cowardly to not accept a new challenge just because of fear of failure. I want Buffon to do what he feels is right. If he wants to continue playing until aged 45 as a mediocre goalie, then I wish him luck. It would be stupid to quit just because people and journalists want to make a cinderella story out of him.
on the 24th May, 2018 at 10:31am
Let Gigi decide what he wants. JuBentus mafia can`t stop him playing, nor should they influence where he will continue. It was their decision to let him go, so leave the man alone.
on the 24th May, 2018 at 8:41am
2/2: (cont) As for the Totti comments, how many players ditched Juve after they were relegated to Serie B? Buffon could have easily jumped ship to the top European clubs but instead he stayed with them, helped get them back up and still stayed after some disappointing league finishes before Conte came. He owes Juve nothing, good luck to him if he's not ready to retire and if other clubs want him. Think it's right to retire from the national side though.
on the 24th May, 2018 at 7:57am
1/2: Whilst Buffon is not the same he used to be, age catching up with him, it says a lot that he is still considered one of the best keepers around at 40. For a club like PSG to be apparently willing to offer him a 4 year contract, as well as links to Liverpool, Man City and others (if true) says a lot about his passion, character and ability even now.
on the 24th May, 2018 at 7:54am
Why do people talk like he's declined to the gutter? obviously he's way past his prime but he's still a good keeper isn't he? it's not like he was dropping clangers left and right this season. He's easily still among the top 10 keepers in Europe even at this age. Keepers are different breeds, I think Mark Schwarzer played until he was 42 or 43. Buffon would still walk into most teams and start there and he's still better than Areola despite being twice his age.
on the 24th May, 2018 at 4:09am
This reminds me of Franco Baresi, arguably the all-time best defender.
In 1995–96, Milan regained the Scudetto, and Baresi should have retired while still at the peak. But he stayed for one season too long. In 1996–97, Milan shamefully ended up 11th in Serie A. Their 1-6 loss to Juventus at San Siro is so unforgettable, with Baresi looked like Phil Jones. What a blemish for such a legend.
on the 24th May, 2018 at 2:49am
Romalat - Totti is a bum though. And he always asked for plenty of money and threatened leaving for Real Madrid etc. But he was bum comon', comparing him to one of the best of all times like Buffon is silly. How many scudetti did Totti win, how many champions league finals, semi finals...
on the 23rd May, 2018 at 10:18pm
Gigi can do whatever he wants. He doesn't owe anyone anything.
on the 23rd May, 2018 at 9:50pm
@ Romalat

Oh shut the hell up you fanboy.

At least Buffon had the decency to know when to leave, unlike Totti who kept dragging his team down.

Late in his career he knew he won't be a starter in any big club anymore so he stayed in his comfort zone like a leech.

No comparison.
on the 23rd May, 2018 at 8:54pm
What a lousy, presumptuous piece. All your worries are based on assumptions.

Have you seen his performance this season? It was excellent. Why should he retire if he's still great?

A player should retire when he can't play well anymore, not when he reaches a certain number.

I hate to see Buffon in another jersey, but I'm not selfish enough to not want him enjoy something new.

Let him enjoy another experience, another club, another league, another culture, another country, another challenge. What's wrong with that?
on the 23rd May, 2018 at 8:49pm
Anonymous - Buffon's performance in Dortmund in the WC Semi's is why Italia were able to keep it 0-0, and for Grosso to win it. Absolute ignorant's on here.
on the 23rd May, 2018 at 8:33pm
Romalat - He's made over 100 million in his career plus endorsements. Money is not the issue. But keep praising your Totti, shows that you can't move on.
on the 23rd May, 2018 at 8:31pm
I deeply believe FC Bayern would be Champions League winners if only Buffon defended their gate.
on the 23rd May, 2018 at 7:18pm
Totti, a one man club would 'NEVER' do this and 'NEVER' did! Just shows you, Buffon he's all about chasing the last payday.

I read what u guys said...his time has past, let him make some money.....LOL.

His Legacy will be tarnished the minute he walks to another club, TRUST ME!

Never in the same league as Totti if he does & just thinking about doing it...pity his downfall from grace now if he doesn't retire.
on the 23rd May, 2018 at 7:16pm
Gigi, come join Giovinco in Toronto
on the 23rd May, 2018 at 7:14pm
Dear Gigi,

Please play outside of europe for handy cash and promote football in the Mls or Oz, then return to Juve alongside Nedved.

A loyal fan
on the 23rd May, 2018 at 4:55pm
"He has nothing left to prove and everything to lose."
I think this one sentence explains the whole situation. As a Bianconero, I hope he retires and don't play for another team.
on the 23rd May, 2018 at 4:46pm
Just retire and go away. He's an attention seeking drama queen. For the love of god just leave. Italy would have won the world cuo without him and every league and coppa italia Juve have won in the last 8 years they'd have won without him to. Its so boring he retires from i ternational then he comes back, he retires from club football then he doesn't he s just dramatic.
It's all a show.
on the 23rd May, 2018 at 4:34pm
Buffon should continue to stay with Juve, but he needs to sit down in the Champions league if he ever want to win it! He is no longer able to compete in the highest level. There is no shame to sit on the bench and root for those playing and bring that glory for you. You are still part of the teams effort. Look at Cristiano Ronaldo on the sideline rooting for his team to win Euro Cup. That shows class. Buffon should learn to do the same abeit different circumstances, but anything for victory!
on the 23rd May, 2018 at 4:20pm
ciao amici!
regardless of what will happen from now on BUFFON is the greatest goalkeeper of his generation!
he is in an excellent shape and could continue as long as he wishes!
it's a shame how Juve treated him to cut his salary to half if he wanted to play!!
he should keep playing and maybe win cl!! yes PSG could do it!
Euro 2020 is within his reach even as a 2nd goalie!
no one say's no to 8 million euros per season!
on the 23rd May, 2018 at 4:16pm
Adam you're a lousy writer. Your twitter feed is equally annoying. He can do what he wants, when he wants. The only Problem GiGi will have next year is being knocked out of the CL by Juventus.
on the 23rd May, 2018 at 3:47pm
nothing good can come of this. I understand why buffon is desperate to win the c.league but psg could have him riding on the bench if he happens to make a few mistake. it is clear as day his reflexes are waning especially on snapshots from distance. he is better off like delpiero going and playing in a league like in mexico or Australia where the level isn't as high. don't go and tarnish your legacy. you left the game a winner of a scudetto and your last c.league game you won at the bernabeau.
on the 23rd May, 2018 at 3:08pm

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