“For the first time in my career, I am leaving my country and only a project as ambitious as this could have encouraged me to make such a decision.”
Those were the words of Gianluigi Buffon, per the club’s official website, when he signed for Paris Saint-Germain in July of 2018. The Italian keeper only lasted one season at PSG but at the Trento Sport Festival in Italy recently, the 41-year-old reminisced about his time in the French capital per Culture PSG.
“During my season at PSG, I had the chance to play with two future winners of the Ballon d’Or: Neymar Jr. and Kylian Mbappé,” Buffon said. “These are two extraordinary talents.”
The current Juventus FC backup keeper went on to reveal that it was actually PSG that kept him from retiring.
“I want to thank PSG who gave me this opportunity because, without this offer, I would probably stopped the previous year,” Buffon said. “I spoke to [Juventus] president Adrea Agnelli and he told me that it could be a positive experience for me.”
Buffon’s time in Paris didn’t go exactly as he hoped. The UEFA Champions League title he covets escaped him once again and he was in goal during the catastrophic loss to Manchester United at the Parc des Princes. That wasn’t why Buffon returned home though.
“At a certain point, I felt the call of home and my family. Being back two weekends a month was not enough for me,” Buffon said. “I decided to come back to Turin, but that was not the only reason. It was like closing a perfect book with my longtime partners, even though it’s in a less important role than the one I had before.”
The Buffon experiment at PSG didn’t work out on the pitch but he was a great ambassador for the club. He is one of the most respected players in the game and to have him speak fondly about his time in Paris feels pretty good. I do feel kind of bad that he has to put up with Adrien Rabiot on the bench. No one deserves that.
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