Juventus and Italy legend Gianluigi Buffon is set to retire from professional football at the age of 45, Fabrizio Romano has revealed.
The goalkeeper, who spent 19 years at Juve across two separate spells, is to bring an end to his playing career after a two-year stint at Parma.
He has also become renowned for his longevity, playing to an incredibly high standard well into his 40s.
In a March 2023 interview (via Tuttomercatoweb), Buffon said he would like to retire “at most after the next season” – although it appears he has brought his decision forward.
Buffon ‘set to retire from professional football’
Taking to Twitter, Romano has claimed that Buffon has decided to retire from professional football, and will officially announce his decision in the coming days.
He tweeted: “Legendary Italian goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon has decided to retire from professional football – it will be official in the next days.
“Buffon, 45 years old, was playing for Parma last season. One of the best goalkeepers in history of the game will now retire.”
BREAKING: legendary Italian goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon has decided to retire from professional football — it will be official in the next days ⭐️🇮🇹
Buffon, 45 years old, was playing for Parma last season.
One of the best goalkeepers in history of the game will now retire. pic.twitter.com/j5KpHYd6dU
— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) August 1, 2023
Highly regarded by players and supporters alike, Buffon was voted football’s greatest ever goalkeeper in a poll conducted for readers of France Football (via Football Italia) in 2016.
At Juventus, he formed an almost unbreakable partnership with the central defensive trio of Andrea Barzagli, Giorgio Chiellini and Leonardo Bonucci, and won eight consecutive Scudettos.
In terms of individual accolades, Buffon was named by the International Federation of Football History and Statistics (IFFHS) as the Best Goalkeeper of the Decade (2001-2011) and the Best Goalkeeper in the World in five separate years (2003, 2004, 2006, 2007 and 2017).
He spent last season back at Parma – the club in which he initially developed a reputation as one of the finest goalkeepers on the planet – in Serie B, but was restricted to 19 appearances in all competitions due to injuries.