Saturday’s game against Hellas Verona will be Gianluigi Buffon’s last in a Juventus shirt. A BBC report qualifies Buffon as the last great player of a great Football Italia generation, while citing Fabrizio Cannavaro’s definition of the Italian goalkeeper, as the ‘Maradona of Goalkeepers’.
The BBC report says that “Buffon probably knows that fairytale endings are exactly that; the stuff of fairytales. Winning the Champions League and going to a record sixth World Cup was probably what Buffon dreamed about. But you can’t always get what you want.” However his career doesn’t lack silverware, and gold. He was fundamental in defending Italy’s goal during the 2006 World Cup. Last weekend, he won the ninth Scudetto with Juventus and four days earlier, he kept a clean sheet in the Coppa Italia final. It was his 300th in black and white.
Two years ago, he broke Sebastiano Rossi’s record for minutes without conceding goal; more than 16 hours. He could have become the first goalkeeper since Lev Yashin to win the Ballon d’Or, but he finished runner-up to Cannavaro after Italy’s last World Cup triumph.
“Measuring Buffon’s legacy in terms of trophies and talent is not enough on its own to get a sense of his impact on Italian football and society as a whole though. Buffon is that rarest of things; a born leader. He went down with the ship when Juventus were relegated to Serie B and has often given Gettysburg-like addresses on behalf of his club and country.”