Saturday April 23 2016
Buffon: 'I believe in gratitude'

Gianluigi Buffon reveals why he stayed with Juventus in Serie B. “I believe in gratitude. Football is not just business, but sentiments.”

The Bianconeri were demoted after the Calciopoli scandal in 2006 and saw two Serie A titles stripped from their record, but World Cup winners like Buffon and Alessandro Del Piero stayed with the club throughout their resurgence.

“I could’ve left that summer and I was contacted by important clubs,” he told the Corriere dello Sport newspaper.

“But I decided to stay at Juve first of all because I believe in gratitude. It’s a value that we’d do well as a society to bring back to the surface.

“I also wanted to prove in concrete terms that the values of football I believe in are not just declared and trotted out rhetorically, but put into practice.

“Football is not just a business, it is also sentiments. The sport would die without the former or the latter, we ought to know that.

“In my small part, I tried to prove that was the case.”

There is a similar debate going on at Roma, where Francesco Totti wants to play on past the age of 40 and the club won’t offer him a new contract.

It has led to tension between the captain and Coach Luciano Spalletti, who points out Totti is no longer competitive enough to start games.

“I think what everyone thinks of Totti, that he is unique,” continued Buffon. “Nobody can ever write a story like his again.

“At the same time I think the primary concern has to be what’s best for Roma and Spalletti works coherently to ensure this priority.

“Totti will decide when to quit and I heard that the Coach thinks the same way. Basically, I think everyone is right, but they didn’t understand each other and it caused confusion.”

Watch Serie A live in the UK on Premier Sports.