Gigi Buffon admits he would “only accept being second choice for Juventus” and will take an Italy swansong when he eventually decides to retire.
The 41-year-old shows no signs of slowing down and was today named UN Goodwill Ambassador for the World Food Programme.
After the event, he also spoke to reporters about his current career path and the return to Juve after one season with Paris Saint-Germain.
“Quite rightly, a few people at the start were confused by accepting this new role, but I realised the only club where I could accept being second choice was Juventus. I waited and I was proved right.
“I am glad to be back in the dressing room with my teammates, embracing the fans and directors again, lads who I experienced so much with both on and off the field. That was why I made this choice.”
However, when Roberto Mancini suggested possibly giving him one final Italy cap as a swansong, Buffon had other ideas.
“I thank Mancini, who has always been kind to me. If the Federation and Mancini did have this idea, I’d accept it the moment I decided to end my playing career.”
There is no rush for that right now, as he is targeting another Scudetto with Juve and their new Coach Maurizio Sarri.
“Sarri has very clear ideas and that is because he’s been working in football for 30 years, so in that time he experienced and learned so much, from success and failure. He’s certain of what he’s saying and that passes on to the players.
“The group is also ready to learn something new after this philosophy Juve have had for 10 years. Everyone talks about Max Allegri, but don’t forget we had Antonio Conte there first.
“This new philosophy is something we’ve never dealt with before. We like it. Great players need great motivation and the performances will arrive.”
Juve are back on top of the table following their 2-1 victory away to Conte’s Inter.
“Inter are without doubt our biggest title rivals. I know the Coach, his way of teaching football and thinking, of transmitting his belief to the players. I also know the director (Beppe Marotta) and many of the players.”
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