Legendary goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon recently delved into his illustrious career in a conversation with the “Passa dal BSMT” podcast. From reminiscing about Serie B with Juventus to his pride in returning to Parma, Buffon offered insights into pivotal moments and future aspirations.
“I think about the first Scudetto we won, the one on May 5th in Udine; it was unexpected and the first one with Conte. That year was a magical ride; it was the Scudetto of tenacity. Antonio was like an electric shock; thanks to his charisma and leadership, he shook us up. He was very good at convincing us with his game proposals. We came from two seventh places, but I was sure we would be among the top two in the standings. Milan was the strongest team that year, but you perceive certain things immediately.”
“Serie B with Juventus? In my long experience at Juventus, there was also the nightmare of Serie B. In tough times, I never turned the other way. Ultimately, it reveals who you truly are. That was an opportunity to show how it’s possible to play for other values. Would I do it again? One hundred times. After winning the World Cup, I went to the headquarters and felt a sense of dismissal; it was a cataclysm. I said that if they were interested, I would stay.”
“Parma? You always return to where you were happy. From Parma to Parma: Buffon’s playing career ends between the posts of the Ennio Tardini. Returning to Parma is the choice I am most proud of. I was 43; I could have stopped or ended it at Juventus. I also received calls to play in the Champions League, but then Parma came, and I said to myself that was the best ending I could have. It didn’t go as I hoped; I wanted to return to Serie A, but there I treated myself to two splendid years. A proposal from Arabia? It came when I had decided to retire.”
“The Azzurri? I have a contract until the Euros. I am happy that Gravina and the others thought of me, giving me this role that was Vialli’s and even before Riva’s. We have an extraordinary coach, which is an added value. A future as a coach? I’ve seen many comrades become coaches and I’ve seen them ‘burned out’ in their heads. I extended my playing career to avoid becoming a coach. I am doing a master’s to become a business manager because you never know in life.”
“Gambling? It was definitely one of the moments in which I felt most offended in my life, in my pride. I didn’t even engage in polemics or anything else because I always had to start important competitions. Mental balance is fundamental. Personally, it was offensive: now it’s happened to these guys. Many names came out, but in the end, only two were disqualified, and everyone remembers the others, but no one has apologized. In Italy, everyone becomes judgmental when it comes to betting, but then they go to make their own predictions, scratch cards, and so on. But I don’t condemn those dynamics because gambling is an important part of life. In my opinion, pathological gambling is about how much time you dedicate to certain things, not how much you spend.'”