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Italy great Gianluigi Buffon to leave Juventus but has offers to continue playing

Juventus goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon announced on Thursday that he will leave the Turin giants after 17 years but did not call time on his playing career.

football Updated: May 17, 2018 18:57 IST
By Joe Wright
By Joe Wright
Omnisport, Turin
Gianluigi Buffon,Juventus F.C.,Italy national football team
Gianluigi Buffon, 40, captained Juventus to a seventh straight Serie A title and fourth consecutive Italian Cup triumph this season.(AP)

Gianluigi Buffon will leave Juventus at the end of the season but he has received offers to continue playing elsewhere, club president Andrea Agnelli has confirmed.

The 40-year-old will play his final game for the club on Saturday, when the Serie A champions conclude their campaign against Verona at Allianz Stadium.

Buffon intends to bow out on a high after 17 hugely successful years in Turin and says he had planned to retire until only a couple of weeks ago, at which point he received some “exciting” offers.

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“Saturday will be my last match with Juventus and I do believe it will be the best way to conclude this amazing adventure,” he said in a news conference.

“I’m going to play a match on Saturday and this is the only thing that’s certain. I’m having continual discussion with Andrea, who knows what is happening around me and is an advisor I don’t want to lose.

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“Until 15 days ago, it was clearly known that I wanted to stop playing. However, since then, some proposals and exciting challenges have arrived, from off the pitch as well.

“My fear was to end my spell at Juventus as a ‘finished’ player. I’m proud to say it’s not like that. Until the end, despite being 40, I performed above my standards.”

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Agnelli said: “Gigi has roles both for off the field in our world and from other teams. He knows he has my full support, whatever he chooses to do.”

First Published: May 17, 2018 16:14 IST