Gianluigi Buffon, often considered one of the best goalkeepers in soccer history, decided to put an end to his storied career. Buffon already informed his club Parma about his decision, with the official retirement announcement expected to come at some point this week.
The news comes as a surprise, considering that Buffon was under contract with Parma, which competes in Seria B, until the summer of 2024. The 45-year-old player previously stated that his goal is to help his boyhood club return to Seria A before walking away from the game.
Buffon made his professional debut in 1995 with Parma as a 17-year-old. He spent six years with the club, helping them win UEFA Cup in 1998–99, before joining Juventus in a transfer that made him the world’s most expensive goalkeeper at the time.
Buffon went on to play 17 seasons with Juventus and win nine domestic titles during that time. He departed in 2018-19 to play with Paris Saint-Germain but ended up returning to Turin after just one year. He added one Seria A title to his resume in his second stint with Juve before reuniting with Parma.
Buffon also made 176 appearances with the Italian national team between 1997 and 2018 and is currently the country’s record-holder in terms of appearances. He was part of the team that won the FIFA World Cup in 2006.