Gianluigi Buffon is poised to add another milestone accomplishment in his remarkable career as Juventus faces local Torino rivals on Saturday, with Italy’s former captain set to become the record holder of Series A.
Italian media claims that Buffon will take the field at Allianz Stadium instead of Wojciech Szczesny and set a new league record of 648 appearances – one more than AC Milan legend Paolo Maldini – almost 25 years after his league debut in Parma and almost exactly 19 years after Juventus.
The reports come days after Buffon, 42, and fellow stalwart Giorgio Chiellini have signed one-year contract extensions which will hold both of them at Juve until the end of next season.
“I’m only playing because I feel good, I’m competitive and also because I know I can get better,” Buffon said Thursday during a live interview on Instagram.
Following his wretched season at Paris Saint-Germain, which sparked reports of retirement before he returned home last summer, the milestone would be especially sweet for Buffon.
December’s 2-1 win at Sampdoria crowned Juve’s record Series A appearance holder, and he still holds his national team ‘s appearance record, with 176 caps winning the 2006 World Cup between 1997 and 2018.
A 10th Juve league title is on the cards and he still has a shot to win the one trophy he ‘s referred to during his stellar career-the Champions League.
Should coach Maurizio Sarri make that call, he will send Buffon his first league start in the title race since December on a critical weekend, with stubborn Lazio refusing to let go of the coattails of Juve.