One of the World's best goalkeepers celebrates his birthday today

The evergreen Gianluigi Buffon turns 38 today

BY Daniel Kelly 10:42 Thursday 28 January 2016, 10:42 28 Jan 2016

Buffon in action for Parma in 1998. Picture by: Matthew Ashton / EMPICS Sport

In the week where he announced he intends to play until the 2018 World Cup, Gianluigi Buffon today celebrates his 38th birthday.

The Italian and Juventus legend remains the most expensive goalkeeper of all time despite the transfer taking place in 2001. He joined the Turin giants from Parma for €45 million.

Buffon remains one of the most decorated goalkeepers of all time. The highlight of his career came in 2006 when he was part of the Italian side that won the World Cup, defeating France in the final in a penalty shootout. He also won a runners-up medal at Euro 2012, where the Italians lost to Spain in the final.

Picture by: JASPER JUINEN / AP/Press Association Images

His club career can be simply split into two eras. His time at Parma where he broke into the first team as a 17-year-old and his time at Juventus where he became one of the World's best shot-stoppers.

Buffon was part of the Parma team that won the UEFA Cup in 1999 in what remains one of the most famous days in the club's history. That season they also won the Coppa Italia in what was a historic cup double.

He left Parma to move west to Turin in 2001. At Juventus he has won 6 Serie A titles and stayed with the club when they were demoted to Serie B in 2006. He was part of the team that gained immediate promotion the following season. 

Although Buffon has won the World Cup, the Champions League remains elusive for the goalkeeper. He has been on the Juventus side that lost the 2003 and 2015 finals to AC Milan and Barcelona respectively.

At 37, he was still able to perform outstanding saves at the highest level. His reflexes in the Barcelona game were outstanding.

Such has been Buffon's dominance in Italy, that even at 38 he looks certain to captain the national team to Euro 2016 and you wouldn't put it past him keeping the armband until Russia two years later.


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