Monday January 25 2016
Buffon: ‘Retirement in 2018’

Juventus and Italy goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon confirms he intends to retire after the 2018 World Cup.

The veteran turns 38 on Thursday, meaning he will be 40 by the time the World Cup in Russia comes round.

“If I can push myself up to the 2018 World Cup then I’ll go on,” Buffon said, as he accepted a Gianni Brera award for Sportsman of the Year.

“After that I’ll close the door and stop playing football.”

Buffon also spoke about the Bianconeri’s current form, with last night’s win over Roma their 11th Serie A triumph in a row.

“This is a Juve which is definitely going through an exceptional period, you don’t get 11 consecutive wins if you’re not in top mental and physical shape.

“That said, as with all things we have to be very careful, because records and winning streaks are destined to end sooner or later, so we have to try and extend this streak for as long as possible, to put money in the bank for more difficult periods.

“Paulo Dybala? He did incredible things [with Palermo] last year, but to do that in a provincial club is different, it’s harder to replicate it at Juve.

“It’s surprising how quickly he adapted to the team.”

Giuseppe Marotta, general manager of the Turin club also had a few words to say, and praised Buffon.

“Buffon has a blank page, he decides his own destiny. He can stay here as long as he wants.”