Buf­fon hints his ca­reer may not yet be over

‘Ex­cit­ing’ of­fers are tempt­ing goal­keeper

Waterloo Region Record - - Sports - DANIELLA MATAR

Ju­ven­tus cap­tain Gian­luigi Buf­fon will play his last match for the Ital­ian cham­pion on Satur­day and has put off re­tire­ment to con­sider of­fers to con­tinue to play over­seas.

Buf­fon, who is widely re­garded as one of the best goal­keep­ers of all time, was ex­pected to an­nounce his re­tire­ment at a news con­fer­ence in Turin on Thurs­day.

In­stead, while the 40-year-old Buf­fon says the Serie A match against Hel­las Verona on Satur­day will be his last for Ju­ven­tus, he has re­ceived “ex­cit­ing” of­fers which have changed his mind about hang­ing up his gloves.

“(On) Satur­day I will play a match and that is the only thing that’s cer­tain,” said Buf­fon, who teared up at the start of the con­fer­ence af­ter an emo­tional trib­ute from Ju­ven­tus pres­i­dent An­drea Agnelli.

“Until about two weeks ago, I was cer­tain I would stop play­ing. Now of­fers have arrived that are ex­cit­ing on and off the pitch, and the most im­por­tant was proposed to me by Agnelli.

“I’ll let these three days pass and then I will make a de­fin­i­tive de­ci­sion, in com­plete calm, and which will be one that calls to my per­son­al­ity and my na­ture.”

Buf­fon made his de­but with Parma in 1995, and has been at Ju­ven­tus since 2001.

He has ruled out mov­ing to an­other Ital­ian club or drop­ping down the di­vi­sions.

“I am not some­one who thinks it is right to end my ca­reer in who knows what third or fourth level divi­sion,” Buf­fon added.

“I am a com­pet­i­tive an­i­mal and I wouldn’t be able to live in that sit­u­a­tion. I wouldn’t feel at ease.”

Buf­fon has been linked with a move to Liver­pool, which could of­fer the for­mer Italy cap­tain the chance to win the Cham­pi­ons League — one of the few tro­phies miss­ing from his glit­ter­ing col­lec­tion, which in­cludes the 2006 World Cup.

He’s ap­peared in three Cham­pi­ons League fi­nals and lost them all.

AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS FILE PHOTO

Gian­luigi Buf­fon was ex­pected to an­nounce the end of his soc­cer ca­reer Thurs­day, but is now con­sid­er­ing his op­tions.

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