His 15th year at Juventus has been one of broken records aplenty, but Gianluigi Buffon is already looking forward to building on the many milestones he and the club have set when they embark on the next two seasons together.
Speaking at today’s press conference in Vinovo in which it was confirmed that he and fellow longstanding Bianconero, Andrea Barzagli, had signed contract extensions until 2018, Buffon expressed his delight at the prospect of fighting for further honours in the black and white.
“I’m immensely proud in the faith Juventus have placed in me once more and I hope that my fantastic story with this club can continue to yield many more successes.
“Now we’re looking forward to the next two years. We’ll approach the upcoming campaign with great humility. If we were to succeed in what we all hope we can achieve, then the numbers would speak for themselves. I’ll have won 10 Scudetto titles in 16 seasons here. These figures really give a sense of incredible continuity both for me as a player and as a team unit.”
Asked whether he had his sights set on eventually surpassing Alessandro Del Piero’s all-time record number of appearances at Juventus (705), the 38-year-old Buffon admitted that he was, as ever, far more interested in reaching collective landmarks and continuing to develop parts of his own game.
“Beating Del Piero’s record is not something I’m thinking about and I wouldn’t reach his total even if I played 50-55 games over the next two years. The goals I’ve set myself here have always been related to the team as a whole and to work on certain things individually too. One area that stands out for me is managing better my emotions, such as the severe disappointment I felt upon conceding the second goal in the return leg against Bayern Munich.”
Speaking side by side with fellow rearguard rock Barzagli, a duo that has spent a combined 20 and half seasons at Juventus, Buffon stressed that the continuity and experience brimming through the side could only help the club grow even stronger in future years.
“This group boasts a significant strength of character and charisma, but it’s that chemistry out on the field that really counts, that ability to say certain things to your team-mates.
“To have a group of players who know to the letter what it means to represent this distinguished club both on and off the pitch is clearly a great advantage.”