20 years after his departure, Gigi Buffon returns to the club of his beginnings. The circle is complete.
The eternal Gianluigi Buffon, 43, is back in Parma, the team of his professional debut which has just been demoted to Serie B: the Parmesan club formalized the reunion on Thursday, twenty years after the last match of “Superman” with the “Gialloblu“. “Superman is back“, Announced Parma on his Twitter account, by broadcasting a video concluding with a few words from the Italian legend:”I’m back“.
Buffon is committed for two years, until June 2023, the club said in a statement, recalling that the goalkeeper had started in the youth, in 1991, before defending the cage of the first team for 220 matches. , from 1995 to 2001.
If he is the record holder for matches played in Serie A (657), since his very first with Parma when he was 17 years old, Buffon has so far only played one season at the lower level: in 2006- 07, when he had just been world champion with Italy, when Juventus had been sanctioned in connection with the scandal of “calciopoli“.
Buffon announced in May that he was definitively leaving Juventus, the club with which he won everything in Italy (ten league titles, five Italian Cups, six Italian Super Cups) but also lost three times in the League final. des champions (2003, 2015, 2017), his great regret. A club where he has evolved since 2001 almost without interruption, apart from a season at Paris SG (2018-19).
Parma, of which he had kept the cage for the last time on June 17, 2001 against AS Roma (1-3), would have assured him a starting place and the captain’s armband, as well as prospects for retraining after the end of his career, according to Italian media.
He dreams of Qatar
“SupermanAs Italy calls him, no longer wanted to play the understudies, as he had been doing for two years in Turin. He had received, he assures, a proposal from a foreign club to play in the Champions League. But Buffon has therefore chosen to return to his roots, reconnecting with the club where he made his professional debut. In particular, he opened his prestigious record with an Italian Cup and a UEFA Cup (which has since become the Europa League) in 1999, at only 21 years old. “And now let’s keep having funHe wrote on Twitter.
This latest challenge – bringing Parma back to Serie A – keeps another crazy dream alive for “Gigi»: Remain a professional player and therefore keep a chance to play his sixth World Cup in 2022, which no player has ever done.
At the end of May, just after lifting his sixth Italian Cup (one with Parma, five with Juve), he had not said no: “We’ll see how I will be then I don’t want no presents but if they call me I won’t say no», Replied the guard with clear eyes and carefully slicked back hair. The record holder for the selections for the Italian team (176, between 1997 and 2018), in international retirement since 2018 after the non-qualification of the Azzurri for the World Cup that year, will be almost 45 years old at the end of 2022.
The Italian coach Roberto Mancini, questioned Tuesday by the RAI on such a prospect, was careful not to come forward: “Gigi has been one of the greatest goalkeepers in the world for years, from there to think of Qatar …“