2006 FIFA World Cup, Autographs, Gianluigi Buffon, Our Exclusives, PS (Private Session), Soccer, Sports
Gianluigi Buffon – Signed Photo – Soccer (Italy National Football Team)2006 FIFA World Cup, Autographs, Gianluigi Buffon, Our Exclusives, PS (Private Session), Soccer, Sports
Gianluigi Buffon – Signed Photo – Soccer (Italy National Football Team)
Foto con autografo di Gianluigi Buffon.
Dimension: 20 Cm x 25 Cm (Appr.) – 8×10 Inches (Appr.)
Team: Italy National Football TeamSKU: GianluigiBuffon0006
Gianluigi Buffon – Signed Photo – Soccer (Italy National Football Team)
Foto con autografo di Gianluigi Buffon.
Dimension: 20 Cm x 25 Cm (Appr.) – 8×10 Inches (Appr.)
Team: Italy National Football Team
1991–1995: Youth career and early professional career
Despite offers from Bologna and Milan, Buffon began his career with the Parma youth system in 1991, at the age of 13. During his time in the youth academy, he initially played in several out-field positions, in particular as a midfielder, before switching to his current position of goalkeeper. His idol Thomas N’Kono inspired this change of position due to his notable goalkeeping performances for Cameroon at the 1990 World Cup in Italy; as a result, when both of the Parma youth team’s keepers suddenly suffered injuries, Buffon was called upon due to his interest, height and physical attributes. He quickly adapted to this role, and within two weeks he had been promoted to first keeper of the Parma youth team. Ermes Fulgoni, the academy’s goalkeeping coach, would soon become a mentor to the young goalkeeper. After an initial call-up to train with the first team during the summer of 1994, Buffon was promoted to the senior squad in 1995, and at the age of 17 years, 295 days, he made his Serie A debut for Parma under Nevio Scala, keeping a clean sheet in a 0–0 home draw against eventual Serie A Champions Milan, on 19 November 1995. Buffon made notable saves against Ballon d’Or winners Roberto Baggio and George Weah, as well as Marco Simone, throughout the match. Buffon went on to make seven more first team appearances that season as well as one appearance in the Coppa Italia, making his debut in the competition, as Parma were eliminated in the second round. Parma finished in sixth place in Serie A that season, qualifying for the UEFA Cup. During his time at Parma, he trained under goalkeeping coach Villiam Vecchi, a person to whom Buffon attributes much of his confidence, development, and success.
In the 1996–97 Serie A season, his second full season with the club, Buffon was named as the starting goalkeeper ahead of Luca Bucci, and Alessandro Nista. Parma finished the 1996–97 season as runners-up in Serie A, behind Juventus, qualifying for the UEFA Champions League. Buffon conceded 17 goals in 27 appearances, and his consistent performances began to gain attention in Italy. Parma were once again eliminated in the second round of the Coppa Italia and in the first round of the UEFA Cup that season, where Buffon made his European debut in a 2–0 defeat to Portuguese club Vitória de Guimarães on 24 September 1996, aged 18 years, 240 days. In the 1997–98 season, Parma finished in fifth place in Serie A and reached the Coppa Italia semi-finals. Buffon also made his debut in the UEFA Champions League that season: his first appearance came in a 3–1 away win over Widzew Łódź on 13 August 1997, in the first leg of the second qualifying round, aged 19 years, 197 days, while he made his debut in the group stage in a 2–0 home victory against Galatasaray on 1 October later that year, aged 19 years, 246 days; Parma were ultimately knocked out in the first round of the competition, finishing second in their group, behind defending champions Borussia Dortmund. Buffon acquired his nickname “Superman” during the course of the season, when he stopped a penalty by Inter striker and Ballon d’Or holder Ronaldo. Buffon celebrated the save by showing the Parma fans a Superman T-shirt, which he was wearing underneath his jersey; the nickname was also a reference to Buffon’s athleticism, agility and aerial ability. In his fourth season with the club, Buffon won his first European trophy, the UEFA Cup, keeping a clean sheet in the final against Marseille, which ended in a 3–0 win for Parma; he also won the Coppa Italia with the club that season, as Parma defeated Fiorentina on away goals. Parma finished fourth in Serie A, which allowed them to reach the playoff round of the UEFA Champions League, although they were relegated to the UEFA Cup after losing to Rangers. Buffon’s performances that season earned him his first Serie A Goalkeeper of the Year Award, as well as the Bravo Award, the trophy given to the best player under 23 years of age in Europe. He also placed fifth in the IFFHS World’s Best Goalkeeper rankings, and received his first ever Ballon d’Or nomination. In the following season, he won his first Supercoppa Italiana title against Serie A champions Milan, and Parma finished fourth in Serie A once again, tied with Inter for the final remaining Champions League spot. Parma lost 3–1 to Inter in the European playoff match. The club was knocked out in the round of 16 of both the UEFA Cup and the Coppa Italia. In the 2000–01 season, Buffon helped lead Parma to another Coppa Italia Final, in which they were defeated by Fiorentina; but the team suffered a third-round elimination in the UEFA Cup. Parma also finished the season in fourth place for the third consecutive year, which allowed them to go through to the Champions League play-off round. Buffon was voted Serie A Goalkeeper of the Year for the second time in his career, and he also placed third in the IFFHS World’s Best Goalkeeper award. On 3 July 2001, Buffon was sold to Juventus for a world-record goalkeeper’s transfer fee of 100 billion lire, (€51,645,690) including other minor costs that could be capitalised) with part of the transfer fees paid via the transfer of Jonathan Bachini to Parma for an undisclosed fee (which saw Juventus make a capital gain of €10M, i.e. he was sold for equal to or more than €10M).
2001–2004: Initial dominance
Buffon transferred from Parma to Juventus on 3 July 2001 for €52 million, along with former Parma teammate Lilian Thuram, and was handed the number 1 shirt as the starting goalkeeper, replacing Edwin van der Sar, who was sold to Fulham. Buffon later said that there had been an initial possibility for him to join Roma, but they signed Ivan Pelizzoli instead, and although negotiations were ongoing with Barcelona, he chose Juventus because his father convinced him he would be likely to achieve his ambition of winning the Scudetto. This transfer fee made Buffon Juventus’ most expensive purchase ever, a record which was broken in 2016 by the acquisition of Gonzalo Higuaín. Buffon made his Juventus debut during the opening match of the 2001–02 Serie A season, on 26 August 2001, keeping a clean sheet in a 4–0 home win over Venezia. He kept two more clean sheets until he was beaten by Massimo Marazzina in a 3–2 home win over Chievo on the fourth match-day. He made his Juventus Champions League debut on 18 September, in a 3–2 home win over Celtic. In his first season with Juventus, Buffon appeared in 45 official matches, helping his team to the Serie A title, as Juventus finished the season with the best defence in Italy, with Buffon only conceding 22 goals in 34 Serie A matches. Juventus also finished as runners-up in the Coppa Italia that season to Buffon’s former club, Parma; Buffon only made one appearance in the competition. Juventus were eliminated in the second group stage of the UEFA Champions League. Despite coming under criticism in the media for some errors early on in the season, in particular against Chievo, Buffon was awarded his third Serie A Goalkeeper of the Year Award at the end of the season for his performances throughout the year, and he was nominated for the UEFA Team of the Year for the first time in his career, losing out to Rüştü Reçber. At the beginning of the 2002–03 season, Juventus won the 2002 Supercoppa Italiana against Parma. Buffon had a dominant year, totalling 47 appearances in all competitions, of which 32 were in Serie A. He helped Juventus to the UEFA Champions League Final, only for his team to lose in a penalty shoot-out to Milan after a 0–0 draw at Old Trafford following extra time. Buffon managed to save two penalties, but Milan won the shootout 3–2. Buffon drew praise for making a reaction save from a close-range header by Filippo Inzaghi in the final during regulation time, which he later described as the most difficult save of his career in his 2008 autobiography, and as one of the most beautiful in 2014. Buffon saved a Luís Figo penalty in the second leg of the semi-finals, against defending champions Real Madrid, in Turin. Juventus progressed to the final, winning 4–3 on aggregate. Juventus managed to celebrate their second consecutive Serie A title that season, finishing the season with the best defence yet again, as Buffon conceded only 23 goals in 32 appearances. In 2003, Buffon received the Serie A Goalkeeper of the Year for the fourth time. He also became the only goalkeeper ever to win the now defunct UEFA Most Valuable Player or UEFA Club Footballer of the Year award. He also won the UEFA Best Goalkeeper award, and was elected to the UEFA Team of the Year for the first time. He was also named the IFFHS World’s Best Goalkeeper for the first time in his career. Buffon was also nominated for the 2003 Ballon d’Or that season, finishing in ninth place. Buffon began the 2003–04 season with Juventus by defeating Milan on penalties in the 2003 Supercoppa Italiana, with Buffon saving a penalty in the shootout, after a 1–1 draw. Juventus were eliminated in the round of 16 of the Champions League that season by Deportivo de La Coruña and finished the Serie A season in a disappointing third place, although they managed to reach the Coppa Italia Final. Buffon made his 100th appearance for Juventus that season on 30 September 2003 in a 2–1 away win over Olympiacos in the group stage of the Champions League. He was named by Pelé as one of the top 125 greatest living footballers in March 2004, but missed out on the Serie A Goalkeeper of the Year award, which went to Milan’s league-winning goalkeeper Dida. He was once again elected as the Goalkeeper for the UEFA Team of the Year and as the IFFHS World’s Best Goalkeeper. Buffon also received his first ever FIFA World Player of the Year nomination in 2004, finishing in 21st place alongside countryman Paolo Maldini.
In the summer of 2004, Marcello Lippi left Juventus to take charge of the Italy national team and was replaced by Fabio Capello. In his fourth season with the club, Buffon made 38 appearances in Serie A and 48 in all competitions that season as he won his third Serie A title in four years with Juventus, winning once again the Serie A Goalkeeper of the Year award for the fifth time in his career. Juventus were knocked out in the quarter-finals of the Champions League, against eventual winners Liverpool, and in 2005, Buffon was nominated for the UEFA Team of the Year for the fourth consecutive year. In August 2005, Buffon collided with Milan midfielder Kaká during the annual preseason Trofeo Luigi Berlusconi match, suffering a dislocated shoulder that required surgery. Milan loaned backup goalkeeper Christian Abbiati to Juventus as compensation while Buffon recovered. Buffon returned to the Juventus starting line-up in November, but injury again sidelined him until January. He recovered in time to help Juventus win their second consecutive Scudetto and his fourth overall, returning to the starting line-up in January 2006, in a Coppa Italia match against Fiorentina. Juventus were once again knocked out in the quarter-finals of the Champions League by runners-up Arsenal, and in the quarter-finals of the Coppa Italia on away goals to eventual runners-up Roma. Buffon was named IFFHS World’s Best Goalkeeper for the third time in his career and Serie A Goalkeeper of the Year for the sixth time. He was also placed second in the 2006 Ballon d’Or and eighth in the FIFA World Player of the Year Award behind his winning Italy teammate Fabio Cannavaro, and was elected as the starting goalkeeper for both the 2006 FIFPro XI and the UEFA Team of the Year, following his fifth consecutive nomination. Buffon made his 200th appearance for Juventus that season in a 2–0 away defeat at the hands of Arsenal in the quarter-finals of the Champions League. On 12 May 2006, several players, including Buffon, were accused of participating in illegal betting on Serie A matches. Buffon voluntarily co-operated, allowing himself to be interrogated by Turin magistrates. While admitting that he did place bets on sporting matches (until regulations went into effect in late 2005, banning players from doing so), he vehemently denied placing wagers on Italian football matches. Despite concerns that he had jeopardised his chance of playing for Italy in the 2006 World Cup, he was officially named Italy’s starting goalkeeper on 15 May and helped Italy to win their fourth title. Buffon was cleared of all charges by the Italian Football Federation (FIGC) on 27 June 2007. Following Juventus’ punishment in the Calciopoli scandal, in which their two most recent Serie A titles were stripped and the squad were relegated to Serie B and penalised with a point deduction, rumours spread that Buffon would be placed on the transfer market. Buffon elected to remain with Juventus, despite the team’s relegation, a decision which made him extremely popular with the Juventus fans.
During the 2006–07 Serie B season, Buffon made his debut in the Italian second division in a 1–1 away draw against Rimini on 9 September 2006; later that year, he also received the first red card of his career in a 1–1 away draw against AlbinoLeffe on 18 November. In total he made 37 league appearances throughout the season. After Juventus won the Serie B title, earning promotion to Serie A for the 2007–08 season, Buffon signed a contract extension with Juventus until 2012. In 2007, Buffon was also elected as the goalkeeper for the 2007 FIFPro XI for the second consecutive year, and the IFFHS World’s Best Goalkeeper for a record-breaking fourth time. Buffon was a key player for Juventus in the 2007–08 season, their first back in the top flight, as he helped Juventus to a third-place finish, and Champions League qualification. Juventus lost to runners-up Inter in the Coppa Italia quarter-finals. Buffon produced 94 saves in 34 league appearances and was named Serie A Goalkeeper of the Year for the seventh time in his career. Buffon was also nominated for the 2008 Ballon d’Or for the sixth consecutive time in his career since 2003, and the FIFA World Player of the Year Award. During this season, Buffon began to suffer problems with his back, caused by a herniated disc, which frequently keep him sidelined during the next few seasons. On 10 March 2008, Buffon renewed his contract until 2013, expressing his desire to win everything with the club. In the 2008–09 season, Buffon was once again sidelined by several injuries. From September through January, reserve goalkeeper Alexander Manninger held his position between the sticks, gaining praise for his deputising. Due to recurring injuries, Manninger’s performances and Juventus’ poor form towards the end of the season (as Buffon was seen despondent whilst the team drew with both Lecce and Atalanta), there were further rumours that Buffon was displeased and wanted to part ways with the club. He admitted he was disappointed with the current results, but assured that he had no intention of leaving. After a discussion with management, he said he was reassured about the club’s future and signed a contract extension to 2013. Buffon and Juventus finished the season on a high note, with two victories, finishing in second place behind Internazionale. They were knocked out of the Coppa Italia semi-finals by eventual champions Lazio and of the Champions League in the round of 16 by Chelsea. Buffon was nominated for the FIFA World Player of the Year in 2009 for the sixth consecutive season since first being nominated in 2004. Buffon made his 300th appearance for Juventus in a 3–3 home draw against Chievo in 2009. Juventus and Buffon began the 2009–10 season strongly, although the squad suffered a severe dip in form as they were eliminated from the Champions League, finishing third in their group. They were subsequently eliminated in the Round of 16 of the Europa League against Fulham. Juventus were knocked out in the quarter-finals of the Coppa Italia to eventual champions Inter, and finished the Serie A season in a disappointing seventh place, only qualifying for the 2010–11 Europa League through the playoff round. Buffon was often sidelined that season, due to several recurring injuries. In 2010, Buffon was voted goalkeeper of the decade by IFFHS. Buffon did not play for the first half of the 2010–11 season as he was recovering from surgery after an injury he endured to his sciatic nerve during the 2010 World Cup, and he was replaced by his new deputy, Marco Storari. Juventus were knocked out of the Europa League group stage, the Coppa Italia in the quarter-finals and finished the Serie A season in seventh place, failing to qualify for Europe, the first time since the 1990–91 season.
During the 2011–12 season under new manager and former club midfielder Antonio Conte, Juventus were once again a dominating force in Serie A. Buffon re-found his form, and made numerous notable saves throughout the season, including stopping a penalty kick from Francesco Totti, which enabled Juventus to capture a crucial draw against Roma at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome. Buffon’s fine form at the end of the first half of the season saw elected Juventus’ Player of the Month in December 2011 by fans. Buffon kept his 15th clean sheet of the season in Juventus’ victory over rivals Inter in the Derby d’Italia; after the match, he was described as “the best goalkeeper in Italy and probably the World”. Juventus finished the season unbeaten, winning their first Scudetto since the Calciopoli scandal, and qualifying for the 2012–13 Champions League after a two-year absence. Buffon described it as the second highest point of his career, after the 2006 World Cup victory. Playing behind a strong three-man defensive line under Conte’s newly established 3–5–2 formation, made up predominantly of Giorgio Chiellini, Leonardo Bonucci and Andrea Barzagli, Buffon obtained a league record of 21 clean sheets in Serie A, and only conceded a personal best of 16 goals from 35 appearances (an average of 0.46 goals per game), as Juventus finished the season with the best defence in Italy, and became the European team with the second-best defence that season, after Porto. Buffon made 81 saves in Serie A that season and his 82% save percentage was the highest of any goalkeeper playing in one of Europe’s five major leagues. Buffon was included in the 2011–12 Serie A Team of the Year for his performances. Juventus also made the Coppa Italia final that season, although Buffon did not play in this competition. On 11 August 2012, Buffon lifted his first trophy as the new Juventus captain, following Alessandro Del Piero’s departure as Juventus defeated Napoli 4–2 in extra time in the 2012 Supercoppa Italiana in Beijing. Buffon suffered a minor injury and missed the first Serie A match of the 2012–13 season against Parma on 25 August 2012. He returned to the starting line-up for the next match against Udinese in Udine on 2 September, wearing the captain’s armband; Juventus won the match 4–1. On 20 September, in Juventus’ first Champions League match of the season against defending champions Chelsea, Buffon made his 400th appearance for Juventus; the match ended in a 2–2 away draw. Buffon obtained his first clean sheet of the season in a 2–0 home win against Chievo on 22 September. Buffon was nominated for the 2012 FIFA Ballon d’Or and the 2012 UEFA Team of the Year following his performances throughout the calendar year. He obtained his first Champions League clean sheet, against Nordsjælland, on 7 November, a match which Juve won 4–0 at Juventus Stadium. He also kept clean sheets as Juventus beat defending champions Chelsea 3–0 at home, and Shakhtar Donetsk 1–0 away from home, on Buffon’s 100th club appearance in European competitions. Juventus topped their group undefeated, and advanced to the knockout stages for first time since 2008–09. Buffon kept a clean sheet in a 1–0 Coppa Italia win against Cagliari on 12 December, allowing Juventus to progress to the quarter-finals of the tournament. On 16 December, Juventus defeated Atalanta 3–0, allowing Juventus to once again claim the unofficial title of “Serie A Winter Champions”, with the best defence in Serie A, having only conceded ten goals in 17 matches. This was also Buffon’s 20th clean sheet in 2012, the most of any other goalkeeper in Europe. Buffon was voted second in the IFFHS World’s Best Goalkeeper award, behind Iker Casillas, and was named as goalkeeper of the century by the same organisation. On 23 January 2013, Buffon signed a contract extension with Juventus, keeping him at the club until 2015. On 27 January 2013, Buffon was awarded the Serie A Goalkeeper of the Year award for the eighth time in his career. Juventus retained their Serie A title that season, and finished the league with the best defence, as Buffon conceded just 19 goals. The league victory allowed Buffon to lift the Serie A trophy as captain for the first time. Juventus were eliminated in the semi-finals of the Coppa Italia to winners Lazio, and in the quarter-finals of the Champions League to winners Bayern Munich. On 18 August 2013, Juventus began the 2013–14 season by defending their Supercoppa Italiana title, at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome. Juventus defeated Lazio 4–0, with Buffon keeping a clean sheet in the competition for the first time; Buffon was praised for making several saves. On 24 November, Buffon made his 500th appearance in Serie A, keeping a clean sheet in a 2–0 away win against Livorno. On 6 December, Buffon recorded his seventh consecutive clean sheet, and his ninth of the season; as a result, he bettered his previous personal record of 568 minutes without conceding a goal in Serie A, going 640 minutes without being beaten in the Italian League. Buffon was finally beaten by Maximiliano Moralez in a 4–1 win over Atalanta, after going 745 minutes without conceding a goal in Serie A, and equalling Luca Marchegiani’s sixth-best unbeaten streak in Serie A history. Buffon was nominated for the 2013 FIFPro XI and the 2013 Ballon d’Or for his performances throughout the calendar year. In 2013, Buffon was once again named the second best goalkeeper in the world by IFFHS, behind Manuel Neuer. His performances earned him the Juventus player of the month award for December 2013. On 16 March 2014, Buffon saved the 20th penalty of his career in a 1–0 away win over Genoa, equalising Dino Zoff’s 476 appearances for Juventus as the club’s fifth all-time appearance holder. Buffon lifted the Serie A title for the third consecutive year, captaining the team to their 30th league title. During the 2013–14 season, Juventus managed an Italian-record of 102 points, including a Serie A record of 33 victories; Juventus finished with the best defence of the league, yet again. Buffon managed 89 saves and 18 clean sheets in 33 appearances during the Serie A season, and conceded 19 goals. Juventus were eliminated in the group stage of the Champions League, although they later managed to reach the semi-finals of the Europa League, losing to Benfica. Buffon was chosen as part of the 2013–14 Europa League Team of the Season for his performances throughout the tournament. On 1 July 2014, Buffon signed a contract extension that would keep him at the club until 2017.
In the summer of 2014, manager Antonio Conte left Juventus to take charge of the Italy national team, with former Milan manager Massimiliano Allegri called in as his replacement. Juve opened the 2014–15 season with a 1–0 away win over Chievo, with Buffon keeping a clean sheet and saving from Maxi López in the second half. On 27 September, Buffon saved a Germán Denis penalty in a 3–0 away win over Atalanta, helping Juventus to keep their fifth consecutive clean sheet in Serie A. He was eventually beaten by a Francesco Totti penalty in a 3–2 home win over Roma on 5 October after going unbeaten for 616 minutes that season. Including the previous season, Buffon managed to go 801 minutes in total without conceding a league goal; at the time, this record had only been bettered by Dino Zoff and Sebastiano Rossi. On 29 October, Buffon made his 500th appearance for Juventus in a 1–0 away loss to Genoa. On 1 November 2014, Buffon made his 400th League appearance with Juventus (37 of which were in Serie B, and 363 of which were in Serie A), keeping a clean sheet in a 2–0 away win over Empoli. On 24 November, Buffon was nominated for the 2014 FIFPro World XI for a record tenth time. He is currently the only goalkeeper to have been nominated for the award every year since its inception in 2005. The same week, Buffon was also nominated for the UEFA Team of the Year. On 15 December 2014, Buffon was named Serie A Goalkeeper of the Year for the ninth time in his career, and was elected to the 2014 Serie A Team of the Year. On 22 December, Juventus were defeated by Napoli in the 2014 Supercoppa Italiana 8–7 on penalties, following a 2–2 draw after extra time. Although Buffon made several saves during the match, and managed to stop three penalties in the shoot-out, he was unable to prevent his team from losing the title. Buffon placed fourth in the 2014 IFFHS World’s Best Goalkeeper Award, behind Manuel Neuer, Thibaut Courtois and Keylor Navas; this was the 15th consecutive year in which he had been named as one of the world’s top five goalkeepers. On 15 February 2015, Buffon surpassed Gaetano Scirea as the Juventus player with the second most minutes played in Serie A, behind only Giampiero Boniperti. On 2 March 2015, Buffon equalled Scirea as the Juventus player with the third most appearances in Serie A, behind only Boniperti and Del Piero. He later surpassed Scirea on 14 March, making his 378th Serie A appearance with Juventus in a 1–0 away win over Palermo. After keeping a clean sheet in the second leg of the Champions League quarter-final against Monaco on 22 April, Buffon overtook Dida as the goalkeeper with the fourth-highest number of clean sheets in Champions League history, with 36. On 26 April, Buffon made his 528th appearance for Juventus in all competitions, equalling Giuseppe Furino as the player with third-most appearances for the club; he overtook Furino on 29 April. On 2 May, Buffon kept a clean sheet in a 1–0 away win over Sampdoria, as Juventus won their fourth consecutive Serie A title. On 13 May, Buffon produced a man of the match performance as Juventus drew 1–1 with Real Madrid at the Santiago Bernabéu Stadium in the second leg of the UEFA Champions League semi-final, only being beaten by a Cristiano Ronaldo penalty; the result allowed Buffon to progress to his second career Champions League final with Juventus, 12 years after his last appearance. On 20 May, he won his first Coppa Italia title with Juventus, despite not featuring throughout the tournament that season. On 23 May, in his 900th career appearance, Buffon saved a Lorenzo Insigne penalty in a 3–1 home win over Napoli in Serie A. Buffon captained Juventus in the 2015 Champions League final as the Turin club were defeated 3–1 by Barcelona at Berlin’s Olympiastadion. Buffon made the most saves throughout the tournament (39), and kept the most clean sheets (6), along with Danijel Subašić, Manuel Neuer and Marc-André ter Stegen. He was named to the 2014–15 UEFA Champions League Team of the Season for his performances throughout the tournament. On 15 July 2015, Buffon was named to the ten-man shortlist for the 2015 UEFA Best Player in Europe Award. His save on Dani Alves in the Champions League final was also nominated for the UEFA Save of the Season Award, finishing on a tied third-place in the voting.
On 8 August, Buffon kept a clean sheet as Juventus defeated Lazio 2–0 in the 2015 Supercoppa Italiana to win the title for a record seventh time. This was also Buffon’s record sixth title, and his fifth with Juventus. On 12 August, it was announced that he placed fourth in the 2015 UEFA Best Player in Europe Award. Buffon was named the first Juventus Player of the Month of the 2015–16 season for September by fans after a series of consistent performances. On 21 October 2015, Buffon overtook Alessandro Del Piero’s record for most minutes played with Juventus in the 73rd minute of Juventus’ 0–0 home draw against Borussia Mönchengladbach, in the Champions League group stage. In the return group fixture against Borussia Mönchengladbach on 3 November, he made his 100th Champions League appearance, which ended in a 1–1 draw. On 21 November, he made his 552nd appearance for Juventus in a 1–0 home win over Milan, equalling Scirea as the club’s second-highest appearance holder in all competitions, behind only Alessandro Del Piero. The following week, Buffon was nominated for the 2015 UEFA Team of the Year, also making his 100th appearance for Juventus in European Club Competitions in a 1–0 home win over Manchester City on 25 November. The following day, Buffon was included in the 55-player shortlist for the 2015 FIFPro World XI, despite having previously been omitted from the list of candidates for the 2015 FIFA Ballon d’Or. On 4 December 2015, Buffon made his 400th Serie A appearance with Juventus in a 2–0 away win over Lazio. For his performances throughout the previous season, Buffon was named Serie A Goalkeeper of the Year for the tenth time in his career on 14 December, and subsequently to the 2015 Serie A Team of the Year. Later that month, he was named one of the three finalists for the Globe Soccer Player of the Year Award. On 6 January 2016, he placed second in the 2015 IFFHS World’s Best Goalkeeper Award, once again behind Manuel Neuer. On 28 February 2016, Buffon kept his eighth consecutive clean sheet in Serie A in a 2–0 win over Inter. In the process, he set a new personal best in the top flight, and the outright sixth-best unbeaten streak in the history of the Italian league, after going 746 minutes without conceding a goal in Serie A, overtaking Morgan De Sanctis and Marchegiani. In the following league match against Atalanta on 6 March, he extended his unbeaten record by keeping another clean sheet in a 2–0 away win, also equalling Dino Zoff’s and Sebastiano Rossi’s league record of nine consecutive clean sheets in Serie A. His unbeaten streak of 836 minutes without conceding a goal was the third best unbeaten streak in Serie A history, behind only Zoff and Rossi, and was also the longest period a goalkeeper has gone without conceding a goal since three points for a win were introduced in Serie A during the 1994–95 season. He overtook Zoff in a 1–0 home victory over Sassuolo on 11 March, achieving a league record 10 consecutive clean sheets, and extended his unbeaten streak to 926 minutes without conceding a goal, only three minutes behind the all-time record holder, Rossi; the last time he had conceded a goal was when he was beaten by Antonio Cassano, in the 64th minute of a 2–1 away win over Sampdoria, on 10 January 2016. Buffon surpassed Rossi’s record of 929 minutes by 45 minutes in a 4–1 away win over inter-city rivals Torino on 20 March, also surpassing Gianpiero Combi’s Italian league record unbeaten streak of 934 minutes in the process; he set the new all-time record at 974 consecutive minutes without conceding a goal. Andrea Belotti finally ended his goalless streak by beating him from the penalty spot in the 48th minute of the same match. On 24 April, Buffon saved a late penalty from Nikola Kalinić to secure a 2–1 away victory over Fiorentina, his 13th penalty save in Serie A; following Napoli’s defeat against Roma the following day, Juventus clinched their record fifth consecutive Serie A title with three games at hand. In addition to his decisive saves and record breaking unbeaten streak, Buffon was praised for his leadership, and his role in motivating the team following their defeat against Sassuolo on 28 October 2015, as Juventus subsequently went on a 25-match unbeaten streak to come back from 12th place after ten matches to win the title. For his key performances in helping Juventus capture the league title, Buffon was named the Juventus Player of the Month for April 2016. On 11 May, Buffon extended his contract until the end of the 2017–18 season. Throughout the 2015–16 season, Buffon had managed to equal his personal best of 21 clean sheets in a single league season, and was voted Juventus’ Player of the Season. On 18 July, Buffon was included in the ten-man shortlist for the 2016 UEFA Best Player in Europe Award, in which he finished sixth.
On 11 October 2016, Buffon became the first goalkeeper ever to win the Golden Foot Award. Following his performances throughout the year, Buffon was included in the 30-man shortlist for the 2016 Ballon d’Or; he placed ninth alongside Pepe in the final ranking. In Juventus’ fourth Champions League group match of the season on 2 November, a 1–1 home draw against Lyon, Buffon made his 100th Champions League appearance (excluding appearances in qualifying rounds), becoming the 29th player to reach this landmark. On 4 November, he was included in the 23-player shortlist for The 2016 Best FIFA Men’s Player Award. On 6 November, Buffon earned his 600th Serie A appearance in a 2–1 away win against Chievo, the fourth player to reach this milestone. His performances saw him earn the Juventus Player of the Month Award for October 2016. On 21 November, Buffon was nominated for the UEFA Team of the Year for the ninth time his career, making him goalkeeper with the most nominations ever, alongside Iker Casillas. On 1 December, Buffon was nominated for the 2016 FIFPro World XI, making him the only player, alongside Cristiano Ronaldo, to have been included in the shortlist every year since its inception in 2005. On 23 December, Buffon made his 600th competitive appearance for Juventus in the 2016 Supercoppa Italiana; following a 1–1 draw after extra time, Juventus lost 4–3 to Milan in a penalty shoot-out, although Buffon saved Gianluca Lapadula’s initial spot kick. Buffon capped off the year by placing second in the 2016 IFFHS World’s Best Goalkeeper Award, finishing behind Neuer once again. On 5 January 2017, Buffon was named to the 2016 UEFA Team of the Year, becoming the oldest player ever to be named to the UEFA Team of the Year; this was also the fourth time he had been voted to the UEFA Team of the Year. On 9 January, it was announced Buffon had placed eighth in The 2016 Best FIFA Men’s Player Award.On 30 January, Buffon was voted Serie A Goalkeeper of the Year for the 11th time, and named to the 2016 Serie A Team of the Year. On 17 February, Buffon made his 443rd Serie A appearance for Juventus in a 4–1 home win over Palermo, equalling Giampiero Boniperti as the club’s all-time second highest appearance holder in the competition, behind only Del Piero. On 22 February, he made his 100th Champions League appearance for Juventus in the first leg of the club’s round of 16 tie against Porto, keeping a clean sheet in the 2–0 away win. On 5 March, Buffon drew level with Totti as the joint third-highest appearance holder in Serie A after making his 612th appearance in the competition in a 1–1 away draw against Udinese. On 19 March, Buffon surpassed Boniperti as the all-time minute holder for a Juventus player in Serie A in the 66th minute of a 1–0 away win over Sampdoria. On 2 April, he equalled Javier Zanetti as the joint-second highest appearance holder of all time in Serie A, with his 615th Serie A appearance in a 1–1 away draw against Napoli. On 3 May, Buffon made his 100th appearance for Juventus in the UEFA Champions League (excluding appearances in the qualifying rounds) in a 2–0 away win against Monaco, in the first leg of the semi-finals of the competition; Buffon became only the second Italian player after Paolo Maldini to make 100 Champions League appearances for a single club, and marked the occasion with a clean sheet, his 47th overall in the competition, making him the goalkeeper with the third-highest number of Champions League clean sheets, alongside Čech, and behind only Casillas (57) and Van der Sar (50). This was the first time Juventus had managed to keep six consecutive clean sheets in a single edition of the tournament, the joint third-best number of consecutive clean sheets in a single Champions League season. On 9 May, Buffon made his 150th UEFA club appearance in a 2–1 home win over Monaco in the second leg of the Champions League semi-final, making him the player with the ninth-most appearances in UEFA club matches, alongside Jamie Carragher. Juventus’ 4–1 win on aggregate saw Buffon reach the third Champions League final of his career; Kylian Mbappé’s second-half goal ended Buffon’s goalless streak, which saw him set a new personal best of 600 minutes without conceding a goal in the Champions League, and put him fifth on the all-time table, while Juventus’ overall unbeaten run of 690 minutes was the second-longest in the history of the competition. On 17 May 2017, Juventus won their 12th Coppa Italia title in a 2–0 win over Lazio, becoming the first team to win three consecutive cups. Buffon did not feature, as his usual back-up Neto was the club’s starting goalkeeper in the competition. Four days later on 21 May, following a 3–0 win over Crotone, Juventus secured their sixth consecutive Serie A title, establishing an all-time record of successive triumphs in the competition; with his eighth Serie A title, Buffon equalled Virginio Rosetta, Giovanni Ferrari, and Giuseppe Furino as the player with the most Italian league title victories. On 3 June 2017, Juventus entered a second Champions League Final in three years, and the third final for Buffon, but were defeated 4–1 by defending champions Real Madrid. With his third Champions League final defeat, Buffon became the player with the most Champions League final appearances without a Champions League medal, alongside former Juventus teammates Paolo Montero and Alessio Tacchinardi. He was named in the UEFA Champions League squad of the season for the second time, and the tournament’s best goalkeeper.
2017–2018: Final season of first spell with Juventus and seventh consecutive Scudetto
On 12 June 2017, Buffon announced that the 2017–18 season would likely be his last with the club. On 4 August, Buffon was named one of the three finalists for the Goalkeeper of the 2016–17 UEFA Champions League season award, along with Manuel Neuer and Jan Oblak. On 15 August, Buffon was also listed as one of the three finalists for the 2017 UEFA Best Player of the Year Award, along with Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. On 19 August, Buffon made history by saving the first Serie A penalty awarded via VAR in a 3–0 home win over Cagliari in the club’s opening league match of the season. On 24 August, he was named the best goalkeeper of the 2016–17 Champions League season, he also placed third in the UEFA Men’s Player of the Year Award, with 109 votes. On 23 October, Buffon won the inaugural 2017 Best FIFA Goalkeeper award, and was named to the FIFPro World XI for the third time in his career; he was also nominated for the 2017 Best FIFA Men’s Player Award, finishing in fourth place in the voting. On 27 November, Buffon won the Serie A Footballer of the Year award, the first time a goalkeeper has won the award, along with the Serie A Goalkeeper of the Year award for the twelfth time, while being named to the Serie A Team of the Year for the fifth time in his career. On 3 December, he equalled Casillas by winning the IFFHS World’s Best Goalkeeper Award for a record fifth time, and on 7 December, he placed fourth in the 2017 Ballon d’Or. Following Juventus’ 1–0 away victory against fellow title contenders Napoli on 1 December,Buffon was ruled out of Juventus’ final Champions League group match against Olympiacos four days later, after picking up a calf strain in the previous match, an injury which kept him sidelined for almost two months; was replaced by his deputy Wojciech Szczęsny in goal during his absence. On 11 January 2018, Buffon was named to the 2017 UEFA Team of the Year for the fifth time. Buffon returned to action on 30 January 2018, two days after his 40th birthday, keeping a clean sheet and saving a penalty from Alejandro Gómez to secure a 1–0 away win over Atalanta in the first leg of the Coppa Italia semi-finals; this was his first Coppa Italia appearance in over five years, while his penalty save was the 30th of his career, excluding those made in shoot-outs, and his first ever in regulation time in the competition. He made his 500th league appearance with Juventus — including both Serie A and Serie B matches — on 9 February, in a 2–0 away win over Fiorentina. After Juventus lost 3–0 to Real Madrid at home in the first leg of the Champions League quarter-final on 3 April, Buffon helped Juventus keep a 3–0 away lead in the second leg on 11 April, until the 93rd minute when he was sent off for dissent after a confrontation with referee Michael Oliver who awarded an injury time penalty to Real Madrid; Szczęsny was forced to be substituted in, with the resulting penalty kick converted by Cristiano Ronaldo for a final 4–3 aggregate loss. On 11 May, Buffon was charged by UEFA over post-match comments made about referee Oliver. On 13 May, Buffon won his record seventh straight Scudetto, following a 0–0 draw with Roma in Juventus’ penultimate match of the season while an unused substitute; with this league victory, he became the first player ever to win nine Serie A titles.On 17 May, with one league match still left, Buffon announced in a press conference that he would leave Juventus at the end of the season. On 19 May, after 17 seasons with the club, Buffon played his 656th and final match with Juventus, the last match of the season at home against Hellas Verona. He started in goal, and was later substituted in the 64th minute by debutant Carlo Pinsoglio as he received a standing ovation with the score 2–0 in favour of Juventus; the match later ended in a 2–1 victory. On 5 June, the UEFA Control, Ethics and Disciplinary Body gave Buffon a three-match ban for UEFA competition matches “for which he would be otherwise eligible”, after his post-match comments about referee Oliver in the season’s Champions League quarter-final against Real Madrid. On 30 June, the final day of his Juventus contract, Buffon bid the club farewell with a post on Twitter: “Seventeen years in black and white end today. Seventeen years of friends, team-mates, tears, victories, [defeats,] trophies, words, anger, disappointments, happiness and many, many emotions. I will never forget anything. I will always carry everything with me.”
— Buffon on his last official day of this spell as a Juventus player in 2018
On 6 July 2018, Buffon signed a one-year contract, with the option for a second year, with Paris Saint-Germain. He made his competitive debut for PSG on 4 August, keeping a clean sheet in a 4–0 win against Monaco in the 2018 Trophée des Champions. Buffon made his Ligue 1 debut on 12 August, keeping a clean sheet in a 3–0 home win over Caen. He was used in a rotational role with Alphonse Areola during the 2018–19 season by manager Thomas Tuchel. After serving a three-match ban in UEFA club competitions, Buffon started for PSG in a 1–1 away draw against Napoli on 6 November, and was beaten by an Insigne penalty; at the age of 40 years and 282 days, he became the second-oldest player ever to make their Champions League debut for a club after Mark Schwarzer, who made his debut in the competition with Chelsea in a 1–0 home victory over Steaua București on 11 December 2013, aged 41 years and 65 days. On 18 December, following an injury to Areola, Buffon played the second half of an eventual 2–1 away win over Orléans in the round of 16 of the Coupe de la Ligue. PSG were eliminated from the competition in the following round after a surprise 2–1 home defeat to Guingamp on 9 January 2019, during which Buffon remained on the bench. On 12 February, Buffon kept his 50th Champions League clean sheet in a 2–0 away win over Manchester United, becoming only the third goalkeeper to reach this milestone after Iker Casillas (57) and Edwin van der Sar (51). He also made his 121st Champions League appearance – excluding qualifying rounds – during the same match, which made him the player with the tenth-most appearances of all time in the competition. In the return leg in Paris on 6 March, Buffon came under criticism in the media for committing an error with the score tied 1–1, after he spilled Marcus Rashford’s long-range shot, thus allowing Romelu Lukaku to score from the rebound and send United into the lead; following an injury-time goal from a penalty by Rashford, Manchester United completed a comeback to win the match 3–1, advancing to the Champions League quarter-finals on away goals. PSG finished the season as Ligue 1 champions, which saw Buffon win his tenth league title of his career, the most of any Italian player. PSG later lost 6–5 on penalties to Rennes in the 2019 Coupe de France Final, following a 2–2 draw after extra time, although Buffon did not appear during the final. On 5 June, it was confirmed that he was leaving the club after one season.
Return to Juventus
2019–20: First season back at Juventus and record-breaking appearances
On 4 July 2019, after one season away from Juventus, Buffon signed a one-year contract with the club until 30 June 2020. Upon arrival, he was offered the number 1 shirt by Wojciech Szczęsny and the captaincy by Giorgio Chiellini, respectively, but he turned them down, saying “I didn’t come back to take something from someone or take it back…I just want to do my bit for the team. It’s only right that the starting goalkeeper, Szczęsny, has the number 1 jersey. And for the captaincy we have a great player like Giorgio Chiellini.” Instead, he chose to wear number 77; the same number he had worn during his final season at Parma, before joining Juventus in 2001. He made his first appearance since his return to the club on 21 September, in a 2–1 home win over Verona in Serie A; this was his 902nd career club appearance, which equalled Paolo Maldini’s record as the Italian player with the most career club appearances. On 28 September, he overtook Maldini with his 903rd appearance in a 2–0 home win over SPAL in Serie A. On 30 October 2019, Buffon made his 513th league appearance for Juventus (including Serie B matches) in a 2–1 home win over Genoa in Serie A, equalling Del Piero as the player with the most league appearances for the club. On 11 December, he kept his 51st Champions League clean sheet (excluding those in the qualifying rounds) in a 2–0 away win over Bayer Leverkusen in Juventus’ final group match of the campaign, equalling Van der Sar as the goalkeeper with the second-most clean sheets ever in the competition, behind only Iker Casillas. On 15 December, he made his 700th Italian league appearance (including matches in both Serie A and Serie B, with 646 of them coming in the Italian top flight) in a 3–1 home win over Udinese; during the same match, he also made his 478th Serie A appearance for Juventus, which saw him equal Del Piero as the player with the most appearances in the competition for the club. On 18 December, in a 2–1 away win over Sampdoria, Buffon made his 479th Serie A appearance for Juventus, surpassing Del Piero’s appearance record for the club in the Italian top flight, as well as making his 647th overall Serie A appearance, tying Maldini as the player with the most appearances in the competition. On 13 February 2020, Buffon made nine saves in a 1–1 away draw against Milan in the first leg of the Coppa Italia semi-finals.He started in the final against Napoli on 17 June, keeping a clean sheet and making a series of injury-time saves to keep the score tied at 0–0; however, Juventus suffered a 4–2 defeat in the resulting penalty shoot-out, with Buffon unable to save any spot kicks. On 29 June, Buffon signed a new contract with Juventus, extending until June 2021. On 4 July, he made his 648th appearance in Serie A in a 4–1 home win over rivals Torino, overtaking Maldini as the most capped player of all time in the competition, also becoming the most capped player in Europe’s top five leagues with 665 appearances, including his 17 Ligue 1 appearances for Paris Saint-Germain during the 2018–19 season.
2020–21: Coppa Italia winner in final season at Juventus
On 17 October, Buffon made his first appearance of the 2020–21 season, and his 650th appearance in Serie A, starting in a 1–1 away draw against Crotone. On 8 December, Buffon kept a clean sheet by saving seven shots, all of them taken by Messi, in a 3–0 away win over Barcelona in Juventus’ final group match of the campaign. With this shutout, Buffon became the first goalkeeper to ever record a Champions League clean sheet in four different decades. Messi’s seven shots on target were also the most recorded without scoring in the Champions League since the 2002–03 edition. On 11 May 2021, Buffon announced that he would leave Juventus at the end of the season. The following day, Buffon saved Domenico Berardi’s penalty in a 3–1 away victory against Sassuolo, becoming the oldest Serie A goalkeeper to do so at the age of 43 years, 103 days. On 19 May, he started in Juventus’s 2–1 victory over Atalanta in the 2021 Coppa Italia Final, his final and 685th appearance for the club; after the match, he was given the honour of lifting the title, the sixth of his career, equalling Roberto Mancini as the player with the most title victories.
Return to Parma
On 17 June 2021, after days of speculation following his departure from Juventus, newly-relegated Parma announced the return of Buffon through a short video posted on the club’s official Twitter account.