Friday 23 June 2017

'I want people to be sad when I retire' - Gianluigi Buffon after Juventus keep his Champions League dream alive

Juventus' Gianluigi Buffon celebrates after last night's match
Juventus' Gianluigi Buffon celebrates after last night's match

Ben Burrows

Gianluigi Buffon wants people to be sad when he retires after once again rolling back the years as Juventus put one foot in the Champions League final.

The Italian was at his best as Juve beat Monaco 2-0 to take full control of their semi-final with the French league leaders.

Buffon had to be at his very best to deny Kylian Mbappe and Radamel Falcao as he earned a sixth consecutive clean sheet in the competition, a club record.

And the 39-year-old says he remains motivated by proving the doubters wrong even in the twilight of his career.

"In every game I want to show that I deserve to play at this level despite my age," he said. "I work hard every day for this objective. The day I quit, I want people to be sad about it.

"I don't know if I am achieving it or not, but playing in a team like this undoubtedly helps. The important thing is to be ready when the team needs me. As long as I can do that, I consider myself satisfied and happy.

"It [winning the Ballon d'Or] is not something I think about, nor do I miss having it. I spend so much energy to keep myself in shape and perform well in these games, to be of use to my team-mates."

Buffon's manager was delighted with his goalkeeper's display as he continues to make a mockery of his advancing years.

“On Buffon, what can I say,” Max Allegri said afterwards. “He is still the number one keeper in the world. In the big matches he makes these performances, as he did against Barcelona.”

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