Gianluigi Buffon to leave Juventus after 17 years at the club

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Gianluigi Buffon will play his game for Juventus on Saturday and has described his career at the Italian club as an "incredible journey"

Gianluigi Buffon has announced he will be leaving Juventus at the end of the season after 17 years with the club.

The Serie A champions host Verona on Saturday in what will be the 40-year-old goalkeeper's last game for the Italian side.

Buffon captained the club to a seventh straight title and fourth consecutive Italian Cup triumph this season.

Gianluigi Buffon celebrates with the 2006 World Cup
Image: Buffon celebrates with the 2006 World Cup

"Saturday will be my last game for Juventus," Buffon, who has won the Serie A title nine times, said. "I think it's the best way to end this wonderful adventure.

"For now I only know that Saturday I will play a game. Until a few days ago it was certain that I would stop playing. Now there are some interesting proposals.

"In Wojciech Szczesny, Juventus have an excellent goalkeeper, who also has 13 years less than me. Giorgio Chiellini is the perfect example of how a Juve captain should be.

"He has always been a reference for me. I wish him all the best."

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During his time in Turin, he has continued to break league records which include going 974 minutes without conceding a goal, 292 clean sheets and nine championship titles.

Buffon joined in 2001 from Parma and is Italy's most capped player with 176 caps. He was in goal when they defeated France on penalties in the 2006 World Cup final.

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Buffon was sent off for arguing with referee Oliver after his decision to award Real a late penalty

He had planned to end his career at the 2018 World Cup, which would have been his sixth world football tournament.

But after losing their World Cup play-off to Sweden, the Italian retired from the national side in November. However, he made a comeback during the international friendlies in March.

Buffon has never won the Champions League, losing three finals, and in April was left irate by referee Michael Oliver when he awarded Real Madrid a late penalty in their quarter-final which saw them lose 4-3 on aggregate.

He was sent off for arguing with the English referee before stating Oliver had "a bin for a heart".

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