After 17 trophy-laden years, Gianluigi Buffon has decided to call time on his career at Juventus, which will come in effect this weekend.
Buffon, 40, held a press conference on Thursday morning to reveal that he will leave the club once the season is over.
The Juventus captain will play his last match for the Bianconeri when they host Verona on Saturday afternoon Verona at the Allianz Stadium.
Italy’s iconic figure helped the Old Lady win a record-extending seventh straight Serie A before leading them to a fourth straight Coppa Italia title, beating AC Milan 4-0 in the final.
‘Saturday will be my final match for Juventus and to end this journey with two cups and with the president and the entire Bianconeri world by my side, will be very special,’ he said.
‘I’m proud to have played to the best of my ability right up until now, with performances which befit both myself and this club. I make this decision in a calm and happy state of mind, which is not to be taken for granted for a sportsperson.
‘If I feel as strong as I do at the age of 40, that is all thanks to Juventus and the mentality here. My own philosophy is built around that of the club and I shall continue to live my life in that way, as that’s the only way I know to achieve results.
‘Up until 15 days ago, it was certain and well-known that I would stop playing.
‘Now I have received some proposals and exciting challenges, both on the field and off it. The most important for staying on the pitch was proposed to me by [Juventus chairman] Andrea Agnelli. Next week, after a few days to reflect, I shall make up my mind and follow my best instincts.
‘I’m convinced that Juventus needs to plan for the future and, as someone who has spent many years as a player and several as club captain, I am the first to understand that.
‘If I decide to continue my on-pitch career, it will boil down to whether I still have the necessary drive and strength. It’s something that I’d need to think long and hard about. I don’t want to end up playing in lower leagues.
‘If my future lies off the pitch, it will be necessary to undergo a training course in order to understand the right path to take and what role I could occupy.
‘I’m proud to have received many proposals for the future, but it’s in my character to launch myself into the next challenge with the utmost dedication, “ he added.
Coppa Italia: 1998–99
Supercoppa Italiana: 1999
UEFA Cup: 1998–99
Serie A: 2001–02, 2002–03, 2004–05,[REVOKED] 2005–06,[REVOKED] 2011–12, 2012–13, 2013–14, 2014–15, 2015–16, 2016–17, 2017–18
Serie B: 2006–07
Coppa Italia: 2014–15, 2015–16, 2016–17, 2017–18
Supercoppa Italiana: 2002, 2003, 2012, 2013, 2015
FIFA World Cup: 2006
UEFA European Championship Runner-up:2012
FIFA Confederations Cup Bronze Medal:2013
He also won the World Cup in 2006 but one trophy that has eluded him has been the UEFA Champions League.
He has reached three finals (in 2003, 2015 and 2017), but has fallen short on all three occasions.