The individual landmarks just keep coming for Gianluigi Buffon.
Juve’s keeper and captain will be making his 600th appearance for the Bianconeri in tomorrow’s Super Cup final, where a win would also see him become the most successful player in the history of the competition with seven titles to his name.
For Buffon, however, these statistics merely form a pair of sub-plots to the bigger picture: the chance to taste victory once more and bring home what would be the first trophy of the 2016/17 season.
Here’s what Juve’s Number One had to say in today’s press conference ahead of Friday’s final against Milan:
Another magnificent milestone
“I’m grateful for those that count my number of appearances for me. I’m obviously very happy with this milestone, which won’t in any way be marking my last or one of my last outings in black and white.
“I’ve still got more to give, starting with tomorrow where there’s a trophy at stake and, just like in any final of any competition, we need to do absolutely everything in order to win it.”
Motivation sky high for Super Cup
“When you’re playing a final, motivation is always very high. I’ve a good record in the Super Cup and it’s actually for that reason that I often remember the last final I lost against Napoli two years ago, which still hurts. All of this means that I’m approaching the match with the right level of humility and looking to do everything possible to win it.”
Milan in the mood
“Milan are a very dangerous side and we respect them. Let’s not forget that they beat us earlier in the season and we’ll need to be on our toes to make sure we don’t let this opportunity to win silverware slip through our hands.”
With success comes scrutiny
“Playing in a team that’s used to winning naturally means that any mistake or defeat is scrutinised that bit more, but I thrive off that pressure. It has always spurred me on.”
World Cup 2022 in Qatar
“The World Cup here in 2022 will be an extraordinary event and a completely different one to those which we’ve become used to. It’s true, the world is evolving all the time and these opportunities deserve to be given to whoever has the requisite strength, enthusiasm and ideas to be able to propose a product of higher quality than others. Obviously we’ll only know at the end of the tournament if it has been a success or not.”
“Doha, just like the whole of Qatar, has been continually evolving over the last two years and, likewise, the number of Juventus fans appears to have increased and they’re even more passionate than before.
“It’s clear to me that visiting places like these helps to grow interest and gain more supporters, which is probably the right way of doing it.”