Club Performance of Gianluigi Buffon

Gianluigi Buffon was born in Carrara, Italy, in January 1978. He is considered one of soccer's best goalkeepers of all time. Besides, he is one of only ten players who have made more than 1,100 official appearances (as of October 2021).

Gianluigi Buffon

His early career

Buffon joined the Parma youth system in 1991 while aged 13.

He began his career in Parma in 1995, debuting for the club the same year. Soon after making Serie A debut, he established himself in the starting line-up and earned a reputation as one of the most promising young Italian goalkeepers. During his tenure in Parma, he helped the club lift the Coppa Italia, the UEFA Cup, and Supercoppa Italiana in 1999.

First Juventus Spell

Buffon joined Juventus in 2001 in a deal worth €52 million, a record fee for a goalkeeper at the time. The deal also made him the club's most expensive player, a position he held until the arrival of Gonzalo Higuaín half a decade later. However, every penny spent on him was worth it; Buffon helped the team win the Serie A title in his first season and then retain it the following season. During the time, he established himself as one of the best goalkeepers in the world.

Despite his great start, his fortunes were mixed. In 2007, following investigations into the Calciopoli scandal, Juventus was stripped of two Serie A titles and relegated to Serie B. Buffon stuck with the team, despite the forced relegation. Juventus spent only a year in Serie B and won the second-tier league right away, earning back its spot in Italy's topflight football.

During his initial spell at Juventus, Buffon won a record nine Serie A titles. He also won the Coppa Italia four times and the Supercoppa Italiana five times. He is the first goalkeeper to win the prestigious Serie A Footballer of the Year. Besides, he has been voted the league's goalkeeper of the year a record 12 times.

In 2015 and 2017, Juventus reached the finals of the UEFA Champions League, and in both times, Buffon was named to the Champions League Squad of the Season. In 2017, he won the inaugural The Best FIFA Goalkeeper prize.

Paris Saint-Germain

In July 2018, Buffon Joined PSG on a year's contract with an option of extending for a year. His first game for the club was a 4-0 thrashing of Monaco in the French Super Cup (Trophée des Champions), followed by another clean sheet (in a 3-0 win against Caen) in Ligue 1.

Despite his great start, he and Alphonse Areola shared a rotational role. He made a Champions League debut for PSG on November 6, 2018, aged 40 years and 282 days, and became the second-oldest player to achieve the feat.

In a Champions League match against Manchester United on February 12, 2019, he appeared for the team, keeping a clean sheet in the 2-0 win. This result got him to 50 Champions League clean sheets, becoming the third-best after Iker Casillas and Edwin van der Sar who have 57 and 51 clean sheets, respectively.

Juventus Return

After a season away, Buffon returned to Juventus, making his first appearance in a 2-1 home win against Verona in a Serie A match. It was his 902nd career appearance, which equaled Paolo Maldini's record.

Further appearances took him past several records, including Maldini's for the most capped player in all competitions. He also became the first goalkeeper to record a clean sheet in the Champions League in four separate decades.

Buffon holds a record for the oldest goalkeeper (43 years and 103 days) to save a penalty in a Serie A match.

Return to Parma

In June 2021, he returned to his boyhood club Parma where he has signed a contract to stay until 2024.
Nathan Annan is from South Africa and loves to write, and above all about his favorite sport, football. Nathan's interest in football was sparked late but after watching a few matches in his hometown of Johannesburg during the 2010 South Africa World Cup, he was hooked.