The whole world will remember the match between the national teams of Italy and Sweden, played on November 13, 2017, not only for the lost opportunity of the Squadra Azzurra to enter to the group stage of the 2018 World Cup in Russia, but also because it was the last game for the national team of the legendary goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon.
The 2006 World Champion, the owner of many other awards, the record holder among all European players in the number of matches for the national team (175 games), Buffon said goodbye to the fans with tears in his eyes. For his part, he did everything he could to find himself at next summer’s finals in Russia, but his teammates or coach Giampiero Ventura led him down. The latter could not decide on the tactics of the national team throughout the qualifying round.
In the career of Buffon for 20 years of the performance for the national team was all: an insulting Euro-2000 pass due to injury, an ugly refereeing against Italy in South Korea in 2002, a take-off to the very top on the World Cup 2006 and the title of the best goalkeeper of the tournament, oblivion in South Africa in 2010, the final of Euro 2012. The beautiful completion of this great path was to become the World Cup in Russia, but it did not work out. Now Buffon will concentrate on another, not conquered top, – the victory in the Champions League as Juventus goal-keeper.
Gianluigi Buffon was never as shocking as the Frenchman Fabien Barthez, or as insane as the German Oliver Kahn. Never involved in any scandals, keeping cool in the most difficult situations on the field, he instilled confidence in his younger partners both with charisma and his actions. Best of all about him another great goalkeeper spoke – Spaniard Iker Casillas, saying not so long ago that “Buffon – a landmark for all the goalkeepers of the world.”
Every, even the greatest career ever comes to the end. But in the history of world football Buffon will remain forever: an extremely reliable, real athlete and, perhaps, the best goalkeeper of his time.
To see Buffon, playing for Juventus, you can on November 19 in the match of Serie A against Sampdoria.