Gianluigi Buffon has announced that he is planning to call it quits and retire at the end of the current season.
Speaking to Sky Italia, the Juventus stalwart said that he fully intends on bowing out after representing Italy at the 2018 World Cup in June/July.
However, the 39-year-old ‘keeper also added that he could possibly be tempted into extending his career a little longer to play in the Club World Cup should Juve win the Champions League this year.
This is my last season and I’m pretty sure of the choices I make.
One or two more years wouldn’t add or take away from what I’ve already achieved.
The only way would be to win the Champions League. At that point, to try to win the Club World Cup, maybe (deputy goalkeeper Wojciech) Szczesny could play one game and me another.
But I think with a goalkeeper like him behind it is normal that next year I’ll stand aside.
Buffon was speaking shortly after being named the Goalkeeper of the Year at the FIFA Best Award ceremony on Monday night – a sham of a poll that saw David De Gea fail to receive a single nomination or vote, not to detract from the former’s undoubtedly impressive achievements.
Anyway, maybe the time is right for Buffon to bow out. He’s not getting down to those low shots as swiftly as he used to and there’s not much point in soldiering on, besmirching his nigh-on flawless legacy as he goes.
He may never win the Champions League, but a World Cup, 10 Serie A titles, four Coppa Italias and a UEFA Cup should just about tide him over.