Saturday July 4 2020
Paratici: 'Didn't expect Buffon return'

Fabio Paratici admits he ‘did not expect’ Gigi Buffon to return after his PSG stint, but is ‘doubly happy’ as the Juventus goalkeeper sets a new Serie A record today.

The Derby della Mole kicks off at 16.15 UK time (15.15 GMT), click here for the line-ups and LIVEBLOG.

Buffon makes his 648th Serie A appearance, a new all-time record that leaves Paolo Maldini behind on 647, and he celebrated by signing a new contract to June 2021.

Did Paratici expect Buffon to come back to Juventus after his move to Paris Saint-Germain at the age of 40?

“We didn’t expect Buffon to return, but when the opportunity arose, we grabbed it immediately. We are very happy for Gigi, as on top of being a great player, I consider him to be a great friend who I learned so much from. I am doubly happy,” the director told Sky Sport Italia.

“Football is a little different at the moment, because we are basically in pre-season form and yet challenging for titles. It’s not easy, teams aren’t as sharp as usual, but Dybala’s goal against Genoa for example showed the kind of sharpness that few players had only a couple of weeks ago.”

Andrea Pirlo is reportedly going to be the coach of the Juventus U23 team next season, what does that say for his future?

“If we look at the history of our youth academy, coaches like Marco Baroni and Fabio Grosso are in Serie A and B, not to mention Gian Piero Gasperini came through here too.

“The U23 team is challenging for promotion into Serie B, have already won a trophy with the Coppa Italia Serie C, so we should leave them to work and not comment on these rumours.”