24.03.2017 12:30 - in: The team S

    Buffon: A world-class career in numbers

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    As Gianluigi Buffon closes in on 1000 career appearances tonight, Juventus.com looks back at the many milestones of one of the game’s greatest ever footballers

    Nine hundred and ninety-nine not out! No, it’s not a cricket score, but the number of matches Gianluigi Buffon has played since becoming a professional footballer back in November 1995.

    Juventus’ iconic keeper and captain is set to join the 1000 club tonight, as Italy take on Albania in a World Cup qualifier in Palermo.

    An extraordinary milestone for an extraordinary man. Gigi’s career is simply littered with records that ought to be impossible.

    Only last Sunday, he overtook Giampiero Boniperti as the player to have racked up the most minutes for Juventus in Serie A – a grand total of 39,707. That equates to four straight weeks between the sticks without a break, and that’s not even taking into account his appearances in the domestic and European cup competitions down the years.

    Two more league games are all Gigi needs to surpass Paolo Maldini as Serie A’s second highest capped player, while he’s made the most number of appearances ever for the Italian national team (167).

    His longevity also means he’s one of only three Italians to play over 100 Champions League matches alongside Maldini and Andrea Pirlo, and tomorrow he will also become the highest capped goalkeeper for a national team that corresponds to the top five European leagues.

    Superman’s sheer consistency throughout his career with Parma, Juve and the Italian national team now make such outstanding statistics less surprising, but there are some that simply cannot be said without provoking jaw-dropping reactions, especially where his time with the Bianconeri is concerned.

    On 20 March 2016, Buffon broke a record that actually looked impossible, setting a new benchmark for consecutive Serie A minutes without conceding a goal: a whopping 973.

    Meanwhile, nine Scudetto titles make him the most successful keeper of all time in Italy’s top tier. 

    His overall record in 999 career appearances so far: 425 clean sheets and 23 penalties saved, the last of which came last October in the Champions League away to Lyon – a match that will forever be remembered for his quartet of world-class blocks to help the Bianconeri to a crucial 1-0 success in France.

    Nine hundred and ninety-nine not out… for now! In just a matter of hours, our Numero Uno will be bringing up the big 1000 in a career that simply knows no limits.

    Well done once again, Gigi!

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