Buffon set to hang up his gloves

MILAN • Italian international goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon has announced that he will retire at the end of the season, unless his club Juventus win the Champions League.

The 39-year-old plans to bring the curtain down on his career after the 2018 World Cup, but if Juventus triumph in Europe he could continue on to try to add the Club World Cup to his collection.

"There's no margin (to change mind) because I'm quite convinced of the choices I've made," Buffon, who was named as the Goalkeeper of the Year at Fifa's The Best awards on Monday, told Sky Sports.

"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," he continued, adding that he would share the No. 1 role with his understudy Wojciech Szczesny at the 2018 Club World Cup, held in December.

"At that point, to try to win the Club World Cup, maybe Szczesny could play one game and me another," suggested Buffon, who has played 633 times for Juventus and 173 matches for Italy.

"But I think with a goalkeeper like him, it is normal that next year I'll stand aside."

Buffon made his senior debut for Parma in 1995 at the age of 17 before moving to Juventus in 2001.

Juventus, European champions in 1985 and 1996, have finished runners-up in the Champions League twice in the past three years.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 26, 2017, with the headline 'Buffon set to hang up his gloves'. Print Edition | Subscribe