'That's all folks': Gianluigi Buffon announces retirement from football

Italian goalkeeping great calls time on career after 28 years

World Cup-winning former Italy goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon has called time on an astonishing 28-year career. PA
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Legendary Italian goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon announced his retirement from football on Wednesday after 28 incredibly successful years for club and country.

Buffon, who in 2006 lifted the World Cup, won 10 Serie A titles with Juventus and a Ligue 1 title with Paris Saint-Germain.

The 45-year-old enjoyed most success at Juventus but ended his stellar career back where it all started at Parma.

"That's all folks! You gave me everything. I gave you everything. We did it together," Buffon said in a statement.

Buffon is the most capped goalkeeper in history, having played 176 times for Italy. Widely regarded as one of the greatest keepers of all time, he ended his career at Parma in the Italian second tier, having struggled with injuries in his final season.

"We would like to thank you once again: It is one of those moments we will remember in the history of football," Juventus said in a statement.

"You were not only the best, you did more than that, you became THE goalkeeper."

It was at Parma that he won his only European club trophy - the 1999 UEFA Cup (now the Europa League) - but retires without a Champions League winners medal. He lost three times in the final with Juventus.

Parma paid tribute to him saying he is "a man, a champion, a captain for the club and the city."

"Over the course of his illustrious career, Gigi was unequalled, in his abilities, an implacable determination and an unshakable passion both on the pitch and off it," said Parma owner Kyle Krause.

He also won a Ligue 1 crown with PSG in the 2018/19 season before he returned to Juventus for two more years.

Kylian Mbappe took to social media to pay tribute to Buffon, describing him as "a golden man".

"It was a huge honour for me to have the chance to rub shoulders with you and cross paths with you in your legendary career," he wrote.

"You are a golden man who gave me precious advice that I will keep with me for the rest of my life.

"Happy travels and above all THANK YOU."

Buffon retired from international football in 2018 after Italy failed to qualify for the World Cup in Russia.

"Time has been called on what is simply an exceptional career, an exceptional man and one of the world's most celebrated players," Serie A said in a post.

"You've been unique. And you always will be. I can't even find the words to describe what you've been, what you taught me, what you gave me. Thanks, my friend," Juventus defender Leonardo Bonucci wrote on Instagram.

Updated: August 02, 2023, 5:35 PM