Gianluigi Buffon was all smiles as he handed over his iconic goalkeeper jersey and captain’s armband to Juventus Museum president Paolo Garimberti for its inclusion in the prestigious 500 appearances club this evening.
The 36-year-old had previously visited the Bianconeri realm of history back in August 2013 when he delivered the Italian Super Cup following the team’s victory over Lazio that month.
This time however, Buffon made the trip shortly after 18.15 CET to celebrate an incredible personal milestone that only a few select players have managed to achieve in the famous black and white stripes.
Juventus’ captain said: “Obviously I prefer handing over trophies won with my team-mates at the culmination of an arduous season, but it’s inevitable after so many years that being able to achieve such a milestone fills me with pride because not many people have done so.”
Buffon, who joined the club from tomorrow afternoon’s Serie A opponents Parma, has experienced highs and lows since making his debut in August 2001 and he recalls the inaugural time he stepped out onto the Stadio Delle Alpi turf fondly.
“I remember my first game against Venezia at home well. If someone was to tell me back then that I would have gone on to make 499 appearances in the black and white jersey, I wouldn’t have believed them. With dedication and various sacrifices I was able to accomplish this feat.
“You can only attain ‘implausible’ targets by detaching yourself away from them and not allowing them to become an obsession. You also need tranquility in order to succeed.”
Buffon concluded proceedings by choosing to focus on the aims for his team rather than any further personal milestones he may achieve: “Targets for the coming season? Reclaiming the Scudetto and enjoying a long Champions League run. Plus I’d like to win the Coppa Italia, it’s a trophy I haven’t got my hands on at Juventus yet.”