Gigi Buffon will always be a Calcio legend, as he explains why he’s still playing for Parma at 44 and why he doesn’t ‘need eight Champions League trophies to know how good I am.’
The goalkeeper spoke during the Festival dello Sport in Trento about his career, which is still going in Serie B despite the fact he turns 45 in January.
“I continue to play for many reasons. Because I still feel strong and competitive, because I feel like I’m taking part in a golden age of sport,” said SuperGigi.
“I am at an age where I could decide to retire whenever I want, so I am in control of the situation, but my choices always had reasons behind them. I returned to Parma because I am a happy man seeing how proud the fans are to have me in their goal wearing the Gialloblu colours again.”
Buffon won the 2006 World Cup with Italy and countless trophies with Juventus, but never the Champions League or the Ballon d’Or.
He famously dropped down into Serie B with Juve following their demotion in 2006, just weeks after lifting the biggest trophy in football.
“I’ve won so much in my life, but also gave up on other titles. I’m happy to have fought to win them, but personally I also achieved success with the affection of the fans.
“And I don’t need for example eight Champions League trophies to know how good I am. Even without winning those, I know what I’m worth.
“I use criticism as fuel, especially the older I get. As a youngster, they really hurt and risk destabilising you. When you are mature, you see them as an incentive. At times, I really needed that criticism, and took notes on who it came from.”