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Gianluigi Buffon to retire next year unless Juventus win the Champions League

Buffon, 39, has played and lost three Champions League finals with Juventus in his career

Ayush Chatterjee 25 October 2017, 10:27 PM
A dejected Gianluigi Buffon after the 2017 UEFA Champions League final

A dejected Gianluigi Buffon after the 2017 UEFA Champions League final Image: AFP

Having lost two Champions League finals in three years, Juventus would surely love to exorcise their demons and finally win the trophy.

Well now, they have another reason to do so after Gianluigi Buffon announced that he plans on retiring after the 2018 FIFA World Cup unless Juventus win European club competition's highest honour.

Speaking to  Sky Italia during the FIFA Best awards, Buffon confirmed that he plans to draw the curtain on his long career after the World Cup in Russia, but is willing to stay on with Juventus as a squad rotation member if the win the Champions League.

Buffon has been between the sticks for three finals with Juventus, ending up on the losing side each time. 2002-03 saw the Bianconeri lose to AC Milan on penalties before two outright losses to Barcelona and Real Madrid in 2014-15 and 2016-17, respectively.

Buffon, 39, has won all the major honours barring the Champions League in his career and would surely love to add that to his trophy haul.

"I want to end my career with a big victory. Twelve years ago, I won the World Cup, yet I've lost three Champions League finals," Buffon said to reporters.

Buffon's decision to step down from the role of top custodian comes with Polish keeper Wojciech Szczesny waiting in the wings to fill his gloves.

Acquired from Arsenal in the summer after a loan spell at AS Roma, Szczesny is regarded as the heir apparent to Buffon's spot in the side, and the Italian veteran does not want to be in his way.

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