There will never be anyone like Gianluigi Buffon.


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As an entire Allianz Stadium press conference room rose to applaud an all-time Juventus great and genuine legend of the beautiful game, this was the overriding thought among everyone watching on.

Seventeen years of exceptional service to the Bianconeri cause, 300 clean sheets, 404 victories and 58,709 minutes on the pitch are the numbers of a simply unique player who is admired the world over not only for his achievements on the pitch, but also his vivacious personality and everlasting loyalty.

Juventus president, Andrea Agnelli, opened Thursday’s press conference by emphasising Buffon’s outstanding qualities, which have enriched the club’s incredible adventure over the years until the present day.

A WONDERFUL BIANCONERI JOURNEY

Upon thanking the president for his compliments, it was now the turn of Gigi Buffon to take to the microphone: “This is a very emotional day for me and I’m here off the back of an extraordinary and wonderful journey, shared with so many people who have cared about me greatly. As a way of reciprocating their faith in and affection for me, I have always tried to do my best.

“Saturday (against Hella Verona) will be my final match for Juventus and to end this journey with two trophies (the 2017/18 Scudetto and Coppa Italia) and with the president and the entire Bianconeri world by my side, will be very special indeed.”

PLANS FOR THE FUTURE

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“The most exciting proposal for my career off the pitch has come from the president. Next week, after a few days to reflect, I shall make up my mind and follow my best instincts.

“If my future indeed lies off the pitch, it will be necessary to undergo a training course in order to understand the right path to take and what role I could occupy.

“If instead I decide to continue my career on the pitch, it will boil down to whether I still have the necessary drive and strength. It’s something that I’d need to think long and hard about. I don’t want to end up playing in lower leagues.

“It had even crossed my mind to spend time away from football. These have been tough months for me, but in April I returned confident and happy. Ultimately, a six-month break might do me good.

“I’m proud to have received many proposals for the future, but it’s in my character to launch myself into the next challenge with the utmost dedication.”