Buffon poised to clear the 400-game barrier!
September 18, 2012
Gigi Buffon is on the verge of another milestone. And could hardly have chosen a better stage for it. If he takes his place between the sticks for Juventus' 2012/13 Champions League opener at Chelsea tomorrow, the veteran shotstopper will play his 400th game in a Bianconeri shirt.
A fantastic achievement for a world-class player who has spent the last 11 seasons defending the Juve goal. His debut came at the Stadio Delle Alpi back on 26 August 2001, in a 4-0 win over Venezia.
By turning out at the Bridge tomorrow, Gigi will also be making his 54th Champions League appearance for the Old Lady. Only in Serie A has he featured more often (290 times). His overall tally includes 37 Serie A games, 11 Coppa Italia matches, four in Champions League qualifiers, three in the Italian Super Cup and one in the Europa League.
Statistics that only begin to tell Buffon's story with this club. Other numbers that the custodian's reflexes have contributed to are five Scudetti and three Italian Super Cups.
With 399 appearances to date, Buffon is by far the most experienced player in the current Juve squad. Giorgio Chiellini is behind him on 248, while Claudio Marchisio is third with 177. But the keeper still has some way to go to catch up with Alessandro Del Piero, Juve's all-time appearance holder with 705 games to his name. Gigi is currently in 16th place but the top ten is within reach: to get into that elite group he has to overtake Mario Varglien I (401), Alessio Tacchinardi (404), Giovanni Varglien II (411), Claudio Gentile (414), current Bianconeri coach Antonio Conte (419) and Antonello Currureddu (434).