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Gianluigi Buffon extends contract with Juventus
Wednesday was a significant day for Juventus fans. Their long serving goalkeeper, Gianluigi Buffon, re-signed with the Bianconeri until June 2015 and loves his club so much, he took a €2 million pay cut. The Italian international will be making €4 million until the deal expires, but the contract extension doesn’t begin to explain how unique Buffon is. It’s the attitude along with the performances that makes him an idol to many across the world.
When Juve were relegated to Serie B following the Calciopoli scandal in 2006, the then 28 year old keeper decided to stay with the Old Lady along with the likes of Alessandro Del Piero, David Trezeguet, and Pavel Nedved. That put the final nail in the coffin in terms of his legendary status with the Turin based side. Even after that year, Buffon continued to put in dozens of world class displays for his squad, including the seasons following his back injury in the 2010 World Cup. Thanks to two strong campaigns, Buffon has proven to everyone why he should be in the discussion as being the best goalkeeper of all time.
He’s done just as much internationally as well. He became a world champion for Italy in 2006 and was a contender for the Ballon d’Or, but eventually lost out to his teammate Fabio Cannavaro. After a quarter final elimination in Euro 2008 and a heartbreaking World Cup in South Africa where his team was knocked out in the group stage, the country bounced back in the summer of 2012. Against all odds, they were in the final, but were spanked 4-0 by Spain. Nonetheless, they proved to everyone that Italy as a footballing nation was still alive and kicking, and so was Gigi. He was integral to their success last June and July, making key saves against England and Germany early in the match on route to those knockout stage victories. Like his Scudetto-winning Juventus, Buffon showed why both he and his national team were still amongst the elite.
He’s a gentleman on and off the pitch, still making monumental saves at 34 years old (his 35th birthday will be on January 28th), and he’ll be with Juventus for another two seasons. As long as the Bianconeri and Italy have him, they can feel confident in keeping a clean sheet whenever opposing attacks charge towards their defensive third.