Buffon 9

Buffon hangs up his gloves. Thank you, Gigi!

Buffon hangs up his gloves. Thank you, Gigi!
Buffon hangs up his gloves. Thank you, Gigi!
Buffon hangs up his gloves. Thank you, Gigi!

Dear Gigi,

It is hard to find the right words on a day like today.

It is incredibly difficult to talk about football on a day when the beautiful game bids farewell to its number 1 par excellence.

We have already said our goodbyes and we have already celebrated the historic achievements that will never be replicated, but on each occasion we knew that you would keep beating Father Time.

This time, we know that you have decided to bring this chapter to a definitive end and hang up your gloves off the back of an extraordinary career.

It is another chance for us to thank you, knowing that this is one of those moments that will leave an indelible mark on football history. You were not simply the best; you were more than that. You gave the position a face and became THE goalkeeper to beat and aspire to be.

There are those who got into football when you were already among the best, possibly enchanted by what you were capable of between the sticks. There are those who saw you take your first steps on to the pitch, catching a glimpse of your incredible talent and then being astonished by how boundless and infinite it was. To tell the truth, you amazed us all, even those who had particularly high expectations of you, because what you did was previously simply unimaginable. There are those who saw other greats and thought they had seen it all, possibly with the belief that the new can rarely carve out a place in history, but you managed to quash those beliefs and rewrite the concept of insurmountable, unbeatable and eternal.

You are the player that has worn our jersey for the longest and won the most trophies. You rank second in the all-time appearance charts and are, of course, the shotstopper with the most clean sheets to his name. You were our captain and our rock. You were simply Gigi.

Today is a day for everyone to think back to your gravity-defying saves, the way you transcended history, bidding phenomenal players farewell and seeing the emergence of their heirs, while you remained in place. You showcased the consistency and reliability of a champion whose smile could wipe away any fear and fill the supporters and your team-mates with the feeling that you were truly unbreakable. You gave us reason to dream and made those dreams come true.

Today marks the end of an era and we are deeply honoured to have lived through it. We are part of your story and you are part of ours.

Thank you, Gigi! Wishing you the best of luck in your future endeavours.

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