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Arrivederci Juve: Buffon departs after 17 years in Turin

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Gigi Buffon will leave Juventus after skippering the side to their seventh straight Serie A title and fourth consecutive Coppa Italia triumph. Reuters/Massimo Pinca

Gianluigi Buffon announced on Thursday that he will leave Juventus after 17seasons  in which he has established himself as one of the world's best goalkeepers.

 


Buffon joined from Parma in 2001 and featured in the Juventus side that won the Serie A title in 2002 ahead of Roma. Another championship followed in 2003 but after that the Milan clubs dominated the honours.

Juventus recaptured the Scudetto in 2012 under the guidance of Antonio Conte. They have claimed the crown every year since then. For the past four seasons they have also hoisted the Coppa Italia.

Buffon will skipper Juventus for the last time on Saturday against Verona at the Allianz Stadium in Turin where the side will parade their Serie A and Coppa Italia trophies before their adoring fans.

"To end this adventure with two new victories was important," Buffon told a press conference at the Allianz Stadium.

"What am I going to do? On Saturday, I'm playing a match and it's the only thing that's certain. "Until 15 days ago, I was sure to stop playing but I received some exciting proposals, both on and off the pitch."

The 40-year-old added: "Next week, after a few days of calm reflection, I will make a definite and certain decision."

Buffon made a record 176 appearances for the Italy national team and was in the side that won the 2006 World Cup in Germany

Domestically he holds the record for going 974 minutes in Serie A without conceding a goal.

"His numbers are crazy," said the Juventus president Andrea Agnelli. "With Juve he has won 26 trophies, played 17 extraordinary seasons, 655 matches in total of which 300 without conceding a goal.

However the veteran is second for overall Serie A appearances. The former AC Milan defender Paolo Maldini leads the way on 647.