Soccer-Buffon to leave Juventus but postpones decision on retirement


FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - Serie A - Juventus v Parma - Allianz Stadium, Turin, Italy - April 21, 2021 Juventus' Gianluigi Buffon during the warm up before the match REUTERS/Massimo Pinca

(Reuters) - Juventus goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon says he will leave the club when his contract expires at the end of the season but could still join another team if he receives a suitable offer.

The 43-year-old first joined the Turin club from Parma in 2001 and has been there ever since, with the exception of one season at French side Paris Saint-Germain in 2018-19.

"My future is clear. This year I will definitively end my long and beautiful experience at Juventus," Buffon told beIN Sports.

"I will either retire or find a situation that motivates me, a different experience to take into consideration.

"At Juve I have given and received everything. We have reached the end of a cycle and so it is right for me to take my leave."

Considered one of the greatest goalkeepers of all time, Buffon has won 10 Serie A titles and four Coppa Italia trophies with Juve, as well as achieving FIFA World Cup glory with Italy in 2006.

Buffon has served as a backup to Pole Wojciech Szczesny since returning from Paris in 2019 and has made 12 appearances in all competitions this season.

The 2020-21 campaign has been one to forget for Juve, who are fifth in Serie A with three games remaining and were knocked out of the Champions League by Porto at the Last-16 stage.

However, Buffon has played every minute of their run to the Coppa Italia final and could make his farewell appearance in the showpiece game against Atalanta on May 19.

(Reporting by Alasdair Mackenzie; Editing by Christian Radnedge)

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