Gianluigi Buffon to retire after World Cup – barring Champions League success

Italy goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon has said he will retire after the World Cup – unless he can help club side Juventus win the Champions League this season.

The 39-year-old World Cup winner, who on Monday was named goalkeeper of the year at the FIFA Best awards, has never lifted European football's top prize in a trophy-laden career.

And only the prospect of winning the competition this season and qualifying for next year's Club World Cup would prevent him calling it a day in 2018.

"This is my last season and I am quite convinced of the choices I take," he told Sky Italia.

"I am a very calm person, in the sense that I am not afraid of the future and of what my life may be.

"It would not change anything to play for one or two more years. I t would take nothing or add anything to what I have already done.

"The only way would be to win the Champions League and, at that point, to try to win the Intercontinental. Maybe (Wojciech) Szczesny could play a game and me another.

"But I think with a goalkeeper like him, it is normal that next year I'll be aside."

Buffon has won eight Serie A titles, Serie B once, the Coppa Italia four times and the UEFA Cup, but has been on the losing side in th ree Champions League finals. He was a member of Italy's 2006 World Cup-winning squad.

Source: PA

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