Gianluigi Buffon is on the verge of a dramatic return to Parma, signing a two year deal with his boyhood club. The 43 year old removed all rumours of his retirement and believes he could still hang in there for 2 years more. The former Italian international is set to return to the place where it all started. He will be making a return after 20 years. He has now left Juve twice – once leaving the club first in 2019 to join psg for one year and now to join the calcios.
According to Fabrizio Romano, Buffon is ‘close’ to signing for Parma on a free transfer, completing a dramatic return to the club that gave him his first chance in football three decades ago.
Buffon’s History with Parma
Buffon debuted for Parma back in 1995 at the age of 17. Since then he played 220 matches for them and also got 85 clean sheets on the way. The ex-Italian international helped Parma win the Coppa Italia, Supercoppa Italiana and UEFA Cup in 1998-99.
In 2001 he joined Juventus on a record breaking fee of about 52M euros. Since then he has had a sensational career at Juve clinching 9 Serie A titles with them in 670 appearances. Only Del Piero has played more games for Juve and has 22 trophies for the club.
In the 2020-21 season Buffon started in only 14 games conceding 9 goals and 6 clean sheets. The main reason for Buffon leaving is the lack of proper game time. Buffon played as the back up goalkeeper role behind Poland international Wojciech Szczęsny.
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Buffon will make a move into second division football next season with Parma. His main motive is to get Parma promoted to Serie A once again and approach for European spots the following season. That will be a sensational end to his career. Buffon was also linked to many Spanish and Italian clubs but he turned down their offers and chose the club that gave him his first chance in football about 26 years ago.
Parma got relegated last season and will play in Serie B. Buffon last played second division football with Juve in 2006-07 when they shockingly got relegated. Buffon wants to play as the first option keeper before finally hanging off his gloves.
Buffon moving back to Parma is obviously a huge nostalgic moment for those who are long time calcio followers as well as for Buffon fans on top of that.