Italy great Buffon to leave Juventus

Buffon to walk away from Italy again

Buffon to walk away from Italy again

The 40-year-old is expected to announce his retirement at a press conference on Thursday, after captaining Juventus to a seventh straight Serie A title and fourth consecutive Italian Cup triumph this season.

The former Parma goalkeeper told gathered media that he will make his final Juventus appearance against Hellas Verona on Saturday.

"I would like to conclude by thanking the Juventus family and the whole club".

"A lot of people have loved me here. I don't want to end up playing in lower leagues".

"This is the greatest gratification, and that is why I arrive at this moment so happy, because it's not something you take for granted to be able to perform at this level for so long".

Buffon helped Italy lift the World Cup in 2006 and holds a record of 176 caps with the Azzurri, retiring from the national team in November when they failed to qualify for Russian Federation 2018.

That was his 176th cap for Italy - a national record - since his debut against Russian Federation in October 1997. He was an integral member of the Italy squad that won the 2006 World Cup.

The 2003 UEFA Club Footballer of the Year ends his career as the current Best FIFA Goalkeeper. Then, there was the penalty in the last minute of their Champions League quarterfinal against Real Madrid, which saw Juventus lose out.

The Italian is still facing the prospect of a European ban over comments he made on the performance of English referee, Michael Oliver.

Martina said Buffon is unique and his career will never be repeated.

"Two days later, of course I was sorry to have, let's say, offended the referee, because at the end of the day the referee is a human who has a hard job".

Buffon, 40, will make his 640th Serie A appearance, falling just seven short of the league record held by Paolo Maldini.

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