You’re probably familiar with the phrase ‘aged like a fine wine’? Yeah well, it’s based around Gianluigi Buffon.
The Italian goalkeeping great has defied the sands of time season by season, hitting 40 in January this year.
But Buffon is now facing possibly the hardest decision of his career; where does he go now after announcing he will leave Juventus this summer?
It’s the end of an era for a Serie A icon, a man with a record nine Italian top flight titles and 292 clean sheets.
Two hundred and ninety two. That’s an awful lot of shut outs.
Buffon needs a swansong befitting of his legendary status and we’ve got a few suggestions up our sleeves…
What better way to see out his final days by returning to where it all began?
Buffon became a legend at Juventus but it was at Parma where he developed into a great, winning a Coppa Italia and UEFA Cup double in that famous 1998/99 season.
And with Parma, who have risen from the ashes not once but twice this century after two bankruptcies, on the cusp of promotion back to Serie A a return would be pleasingly cyclical.
2 West Ham
West Ham supporters need a hero, a leader, a man to unify the most disgruntled fanbase in the Premier League at the moment.
And who smarter to bring in to smooth out the differences with the owners than a man whose support knows no boundaries?
Club unrest? You can already picture Buffon going around, embracing each and every supporter and reassuring them it’s going to be alright.
And yeah, the Hammers could do with a competent goalkeeper too.
3 AC Milan
Buffon is ultimately settled in Italy and has never been tempted by foreign pastures, so a regional switch would probably make the most sense.
And with his Italian national protege and heir to the throne Gianluigi Donnarumma cutting his teeth at Milan, there’s an opening for Buffon to closely oversee his apprentice.
Donnarumma has been shaky of late, including a horror show in the Coppa Italia final, so he could do with a firm hand of reassurance on his shoulder.
If Buffon was to look further afield than Italy a spell in the French riviera wouldn’t be the worst possible destination.
Nice have a recent track record of providing fresh environments for troubled stars to thrive, with both Mario Balotelli and Dante reigniting their careers in the south of France.
And everyone knows how much he enjoys the marina life:
Steven Gerrard’s revolution north of the border is in full swing.
His mission? To knock Celtic off their perch after seven years of doom and gloom for blue half of Glasgow.
Gerrard has been linked with everyone from Jermain Defoe to Martin Skrtel, but capturing Buffon would be his first real statement of intent to Brendan Rodgers.
Gianluigi can learn to love the Irn-Bru.
That noise coming out of the Black Country is the sound of Wolves stirring back into life.
Whether other clubs like it or not the Midlands side are back on the radar after clinching promotion back to the Premier League by romping to the Championship title.
With Ruben Neves pulling the strings and a number of Jorge Mendes clients linked with moves this summer, the challenge could really tempt Buffon.
Plus I think we all want to see what the next episode of the Buffon vs Michael Oliver saga entails, don’t we?
7 Notts County
Hear us out here.
You’re all aware that Juventus’ iconic black and white stripes all came about when they looked to Notts County for inspiration back in 1903?
And Juve haven’t forgotten about County’s influence either, inviting them to help open the Juventus Stadium in 2011 with an inaugural friendly.
Buffon is a man who appreciates heritage and with Sol Campbell and Sven Goran-Eriksson both ending up at Meadow Lane in recent years, you can’t rule out a spell in the Football League.
Dream Team World Cup has landed
The greatest show on Earth just got that bit more exciting.
That’s because the Dream Team World Cup game is coming ahead of this summer’s tournament.
Dream Team World Cup
- Completely free to enter
- £50m budget and 20 transfers throughout the tournament
- £175k total prizepot (for UK players only)
- PRE-REGISTER FOR DREAM TEAM WORLD CUP NOW
The game officially launches on June 1 – but you can pre-register for the game now.
If you’re an existing Dream Team customer the World Cup game now appears in the app or you can enter here, but if you’re not follow these simple steps:
- Download the Dream Team app
- Create an account
- Click on the World Cup banner below in the app and follow the pre-registration instructions
From Russia with a whole lot of love.