Gianluigi Buffon, after a 17-year long and illustrious professional career with Juventus, has signed with the French Ligue 1 giants Paris Saint-Germain. The deal will ensure Buffon’s first ever professional league appearance outside the Serie A.
Buffon, the native of Carrara, Tuscany, is a global legend of modern football. Elected best goalkeeper of the beginning of the 21st century by the International Federation of Football History & Statistics, he has figured, once again at the end of 2017, in FIFA’s Best XI which honoured the best players of 2017 which also included Neymar Jr. and Dani Alves.
Gianluigi Buffon aka Gigi had trained at Parma and started his career there, making his professional debut in 1995 at the age of 17. In 2001, his move to Juventus became the biggest transfer for a goalkeeper in the history for €52 million deal.
The deal remains a record fee for a goalkeeper to date. He went on to have a glittering career playing 655 matches, winning 9 titles including the World Cup, the Europa League and numerous Serie A and Coppa Italia titles. He has appeared in 3 UEFA Champions League finals (2003, 2015, 2017).
In the Italian national team jersey, Gianluigi Buffon will always be regarded as a major factor in Italy’s World Cup win, in 2006. His 176 selections in a 20-year international career make Buffon the most capped in the history of European football.
Club and international appearances combined, Gianluigi Buffon has played 1,051 official matches and won 23 trophies.
Gianluigi Buffon, feeling excited about the signing, said, “It is with a great feeling of happiness that I join Paris Saint-Germain. For the first time in my career, I am leaving my country and only a project this ambitious could have encouraged me to make such a decision. I want to thank the club and the president for their confidence.”
“To have followed the club’s incredible progression in recent years, I know what dreams Paris Saint-Germain and its fans have in their hearts. I am going to bring all my energy, all my experience and all of my thirst to win to help my new club achieve all the great objectives it has set out for the future.”
“With my teammates and our supporters, we will share fantastic emotions at the Parc des Princes and in all of the stadiums in which we are going to represent Paris, a marvellous city that deserves to one day see its club at the top of international football.”
Nasser Al- Khelaïfi, the President of Paris Saint-Germain, said, “We all feel an immense pride in welcoming Gianluigi Buffon into the great Paris Saint-Germain family. The immensity of his career, as well as his ambitious personality, unifying and elegant, make him one of the most admired and respected players in world football.”
“At 40 years old, his passion for football is intact and Gianluigi has found the ideal environment in our project to set himself extremely high objectives transmitting his experience, not only to the other goalkeepers at the club, but to all of our players. Our supporters will know how to welcome Buffon with the enthusiasm and love that he deserves. His arrival reaffirms our will to always go higher, an ambition that we intend to pursue with a determination just as strong.”