Gianluigi Buffon: Italy goalkeeper to play final game for Juventus

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Italy goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon has announced he will play his final game for Juventus on Saturday after 17 years with the club. The World Cup winner, 40, will lift his ninth Serie A title against Hellas Verona at the Allianz Stadium. Buffon said he changed his mind about retiring 15 days ago and has received job offers on and off the pitch. “Next week, after two or three days of reflection and serenity, I will take my decision,” he said.

Buffon is facing a Uefa ban for comments made about English referee Michael Oliver, who sent him off during the Champions League quarter-final defeat by Real Madrid last month. Speaking at a news conference on Thursday, he said he was “sorry for offending the referee”. “If I saw the referee again, I would give him a hug and say that he should have taken more time with that decision,” said Buffon. “With the feelings, emotions and disappointment of the situation, I behaved in a way that was not usual for me. After that match, I went beyond the limits with the things I said about the referee and I apologise for that.”

Buffon, who joined Juventus from Parma in 2001, has ruled out joining another Italian club, saying he does not want to play in a “minor league” and could take a six-month sabbatical.