Monday August 26 2013
Buffon considered Juventus exit

Gigi Buffon says a phone call from new boss Antonio Conte in the summer of 2011 stopped him from leaving Juventus.

After a problematic 2010-11 campaign, the goalkeeper was considering bringing his career in Turin to an end.

“I was expecting a call from Conte,” the now 35-year-old stated to the Gazzetta dello Sport on Monday. “He told me some beautiful and important things.

“In the previous season, which was the first under the Presidency of Andrea Agnelli, I hardly played in the first half of the campaign because of injury and I wasn’t myself in the second.

“My head was elsewhere,” the club captain, who needed back surgery after the 2010 World Cup, added. “I thought the time had come for me to change, to leave Juventus.

“However then the new directors and I got to know each other better and their opinion of me changed. To have the maturity to fix relationships after some disagreements bonds you even more.

“That telephone call from Conte was important and, from that moment, I was even more of a Juventino than I was before.”

The Italian international, presently tied to the outfit until June 2015, was netted by the Old Lady in 2001 from Parma for £33m.

Buffon had previously admitted that he would probably have left Juventus in 2006 had they not been demoted to Serie B as part of the Calciopoli probe.