Gianluigi Buffon: The End of an Era?

After 17 years of the Bianconeri, Gianluigi Buffon is ready to hang up his jersey. Concluding a highly successful career at Juventus, his time has come to an end after playing his final game against Hellas Verona last Saturday. Taken off at the 63rd minute to a stadium ovation full of tears and heartbreak, the legend of Buffon will remain forever sacred to football fans all over the world.

In a press conference aside Juventus chairman Andrea Agnelli, Gianluigi announced his final match for the black and white. Under all the retirement talk, there were other plans whirling around. His retirement talks had soon become more about leaving Juventus and less about leaving football. As a legend of the sport and of Juventus, he has many incredible options arising around him. Talks of joining Liverpool, Real Madrid, former club Parma, and the MLS, left him to favourite the France Ligue 1 champions Paris Saint-Germain.

After 656 matches played for Juventus, there are numerous links reporting the Italian to the French side as the interest from both sides grows further. While reports fly in that Gianluigi is very close to agreeing a move to PSG, it is still unsure as to where he will go.

At 40 years of age Buffon remains one of the best goalkeepers on the planet, having helped Juventus add another Serie A title and Coppa Italia win to their trophy cabinet.

While PSG remain one of the richest clubs in the world, they offer Buffon a favourable pay alongside the captaincy. It appears interesting especially because their number one goalkeeper, Alphonse Areola, could be the young foreseeable future for the French side. If Buffon were to make the move, the play out of who would be presented as the number one goalkeeper sparks heavy conversation and debate.

PSG president Nasser Al-Khelaifi spoke highly of the Italian in his interview with L’Equipe newspaper, with great desire to sign Buffon as a backup for Areola.

As talks progress it is still not known the agreement between the two sides. It is allegedly reported that Buffon has his eyes locked in on a Champions League trophy as his sights are set high with PSG. In talks of a 2 or 3-year deal, he may also pocket £6.14 million a year and quite possibly more.

Former PSG star Thiago Motta, also Gianluigi’s former Italy team-mate, spoke about how hopeful he was of a reunion between the two.

“For my part, I wish he’ll come to PSG. Age is not important. If he comes, it’s because he feels ready to come. He knows himself very well.

“And I think if he comes, it’s because he has a huge motivation in mind. I don’t know which one. But maybe it’s winning the Champions League.”

If this said transfer move is to happen, it allows for Juventus to showcase hidden talent such as Wojciech Szczesny and possible newcomer Mattia Perin. With two fresh top talent goalkeepers it will be quite easy for them to step right back where they left off, but impossible for them to forget the memories of Juventus legend Gianluigi Buffon as he makes his exit and heads toward the French side.

This transfer also allows for Liverpool to swoop down for youngster Gianluigi Donnarumma as there were supposed links for the Italian to sign with PSG.

New PSG coach Thomas Tuchel was also in awe about the alleged transfer of Buffon as he spoke about how shocking it would be to not see Gianluigi with the black and white.

“I am struggling to come to terms with the idea that he will not be in goal for Juventus or Italy.”

As it is sad to see where football legend Gianluigi Buffon will go, we can only hope he is sure of his choice. While fans might be upset with the decision, he has made the choice to leave Juventus and retire elsewhere in the hopes of adding a Champions League trophy before his retirement.

Writer: Julia Villa

Photo: Getty