Parma’s leading ultras group ‘Boys’ unveiled a banner against Gianluigi Buffon’s return to the club: ‘It’s the only place where you won in Europe.’
The 43-year-old has returned to the Stadio Tardini, where he will play in Serie B next season.
Buffon made his Serie A debut at Parma in 1995 and left the club in 2001 to join Juventus in a €50m move.
The Ducali announced Buffon’s return yesterday, but the 2006 Italy World Cup winner was criticized by the club’s leading ultras group ‘Boys’.
They unveiled a banner in front of the Stadio Tardini, which reads: ‘You left as a mercenary, you can’t return as a hero. Honour the jersey.’
A picture of the banner was shared on the Boys’ official Facebook page receiving hundreds of comments, most of them backing Buffon’s return.
“Twenty years ago you promised us you would never wear that s**y shirt,” the ultras wrote in the social media post.
“Three weeks after Australia you signed with the ‘Gobbi’. Now you return to the only club that allowed you to win in Europe. After all this, we can only tell you that you are a little man. Honour the jersey and Forza Parma.’
Before the banner was unveiled, Buffon had written a letter on La Gazzetta dello Sport to explain his choice.
“I remember the road that leads to Parma and I know how to return. Parma is the holiday home as a boy, the one where you get lost in the woods for hours to imagine life.
“Parma is the friend that picked up your uncertainties and fears, the mum that takes you by the hand and helps you to cross the road. Parma is the desire to overdo, the freedom to make mistakes, the courage to grow up. Parma is all of us because we all have Parma in our hearts.
“During all these years I travelled around the world and I reached the top of the world, I won a lot and sometimes I lost. But my time in goal is not over yet.