Buffon aims to play until 40 to fulfil dreams
Juventus’ evergreen goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon says he is ready to keep playing for another three seasons to achieve some remaining “dreams” even though he will then be past 40.
Buffon suffered his second Champions League final defeat as Barcelona beat Juventus 3-1 on Saturday having previously missed out on a winners medal in the 2003 loss to AC Milan in Manchester.
Buffon — who enjoyed a more pleasant sensation when Italy won the World Cup in the same stadium in 2006 — put in an oustanding performance but could do nothing about the goals by Ivan Ratikic, Luis Suarez and Neymar.
Juventus fought back to 1-1 thanks to Alvaro Morata’s second-half equaliser and Buffon said: “There was a moment, a ten-minute spell, when we thought we had the match in our hands and that’s exactly when we lost it,” as Barcelona became the first side to win the treble — domestic league and Cup and the Champions League — for the second time.
“It would have been an extraordinary result.
“We didn’t manage to win, but not because we didn’t’ try: we gave everything we had.
“Barcelona are the best team in the world in my opinion, but we have proved that we could compete.”
Asked about his own future, Buffon, now 37, said he still wanted to win a first Champions League title.
“I want three more years at this level to reach a few more dreams,” said the player who has also won six Italian titles.
He could be the latest in a long line of Italian goalkeepers with longevity.
Dino Zoff, another Juventus legend, played at the 1982 World Cup when 40. Walter Zenga, a star at Inter Milan and the Italian team and now coach at Sampdoria, was still playing for New England Revolution in the United States at 39.
Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri said Buffon was part of a “fabulous team” because of their achievement in winning the Italian double and reaching the Champions League final.
“Of course I am sad because you don’t play in a final every year, but at the same time the team gave everything,” said the proud Allegri.
“This season has been good for our confidence and we mean to improve, not just in terms of results because that would mean we win everything.
“We want to consolidate and strengthen the team’s qualities. Our aim is to stay at the top in Europe. And the most important is to win the Scudetto (Italian title). We were close in the Champions League, maybe we can win next year.”
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