PARIS: French football champions Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) on Friday announced that the signing of Italian veteran goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon on a one-year contract, with one additional year as an option for the former Juventus captain.
“It is with a great feeling of happiness that I join Paris Saint-Germain,” reacted Buffon following the signature of his contract, reports Xinhua news agency.
Buffon, 40, joined PSG from Serie A champions Juventus where his contract expired on June 30, 2018. He was elected best goalkeeper of the beginning of the 21st century by the International Federation of Football History and Statistics. At the end of 2017, he was listed in FIFA’s Best XI which honored the best players of 2017.
Buffon started his career at Parma, making his professional debut in 1995 at the age of 17. In 2001, his move became the biggest transfer in the history of goalkeepers when he joined Juventus. In a white and black jersey, Buffon played 655 matches, winning 9 titles as the champion of Italy and appearing in 3 UEFA Champions League finals (2003, 2015, 2017).
In national team jersey, Buffon will always be regarded as a major factor in Italy’s World Cup win in 2006. His 176 appearances in a 20-year international career make the player the most capped in the history of European football.
Club and international appearances combined, Buffon has played 1,051 official matches and won 23 trophies.
“For the first time in my career, I am leaving my country and only a project this ambitious could have encouraged me to make such a decision. I want to thank the club and the president for their confidence,” Buffon said.
“To have followed the club’s incredible progression in recent years, I know what dreams Paris Saint-Germain and its fans have in their hearts. I am going to bring all my energy, all my experience and all of my thirst to win to help my new club achieve all the great objectives it has set out for the future,” he added.
“With my teammates and our supporters, we will share fantastic emotions at the Parc des Princes and in all of the stadiums in which we are going to represent Paris, a marvelous city that deserves to one day see its club at the top of international football.”
PSG President Nasser Al-Khelaifi: “We all feel an immense pride in welcoming Gianluigi Buffon into the great Paris Saint-Germain family at the immensity of his career, as well as his ambitious personality, unifying and elegant, make him one of the most admired and respected players in world football.
“At 40 years old, his passion for football is intact and Gianluigi has found the ideal environment in our project to set himself extremely high objectives transmitting his experience, not only to the other goalkeepers at the club but to all of our players,” added Al-Khelaifi.
“Our supporters will know how to welcome Buffon with the enthusiasm and love that he deserves. His arrival reaffirms our will to always go higher, an ambition that we intend to pursue with a determination just as strong.”