NEWS
Wednesday January 23 2013
Only Juventus for Buffon

Gigi Buffon says that he never thought about leaving Juventus after opting to sign a new contract with the Italian champions.

The 34-year-old could have left the club on a Bosman in the summer, but he’s put pen to paper on a new agreement until 2015.

“I never considered any other club,” the custodian noted at a Press conference [watch it here] this afternoon. “I’ve been here for many years and the Juventus shirt is a lifestyle. It’s hard to imagine me in another one.”

Buffon has agreed to accept a cut in salary – thought to be around €2m a season – while he confirmed that he even offered to sign a shorter deal than he did.

“I proposed 12 months,” he declared. “As a player with my career behind him, the present and the future that is ahead, it is right that you play only for as long as you can at your levels.

“I thought that was right, but Juventus are not a club who improvise. They plan.”

Although the Italian international has only signed on for another two years, he admits that he has his eyes on appearing at Euro 2016.

“There is a World Cup in a year and a half and then a European Championship three and a half years later. I want to reach that stage in the shape I am today. We’ll see what happens in 2015.”

Buffon joined the Old Lady in 2001 from Parma at a cost of £33m. He’s now captain of his club and his country.

“As soon as I arrived at this club I asked myself whether I was good enough. I never thought that I would be the captain of a prestigious team like Juventus.

“Alex Del Piero left me the armband and this was very significant in my consecration as a man of the changing room.”

After a season in Serie B with Juve post-Calciopoli, Buffon was asked about the opportunity to join Barcelona in 2001.

“I do ask myself that question now and again, but Barcelona started winning in 2006. Five years without winning anything is a long time. Seeing how my career has developed, I have no regrets.”

Buffon was also quizzed about his possible heir and he believes that Italian football will be in safe hands when he does eventually quit.

“There is a good generation of goalkeepers coming through. I’ve had the fortune of training with Nicola Leali, he has the potential to write goalkeeping history.

“Then, in Serie A, there is Mattia Perin of Pescara who is doing some really exceptional things. The goalkeeping movement has been regenerated.”

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