Italy's Buffon to play last game for Juventus on Saturday

Italy's Buffon to play last game for Juventus on Saturday

This summer's World Cup in Russian Federation would have been his sixth appearance at the finals, but Italy missed out on qualification after a play-off defeat to Sweden.

"I'm sorry for [Gianluigi] Donnarumma, but there will never be another Gigi", Martina said.

"Until 15 days it was sure I would stop playing football, but now new challenges have arrived both on the pitch and outside the pitch".

"Next week will be the week I decide what to do, but it's a decision which will not change the way I feel".

"All that mattered for me was ending in the best way possible at Juve, and let's not forget that Juve have an excellent goalkeeper who is 13 years younger than me".

"I'm his sister, I love him very much and I'm biased, but I really don't think it's time for goodbye". I'm proud to say it's not like that.

"Saturday will be my last game for Juventus and I think it will be the best way to end this fantastic adventure".

The 40-year-old, who has made a record 176 appearances for Italy, is expected to call time on his playing days at a news conference at the Allianz Stadium in Turin this Thursday, according to BBC Sport. I was always be grateful to all of you forever. He had the desire to go to the World Cup in his mind but instead there was the Italy-Sweden playoff game, which Italy lost. During his time with Parma he also won the Coppa Italia, UEFA Cup and Italian Supercoppa in 1999. "Saturday's match is the only thing that is for certain", said Buffon. Then, there was the penalty in the last minute of their Champions League quarterfinal against Real Madrid, which saw Juventus lose out.

Buffon's career has nevertheless been more about the highs than the lows and, nearly 23 years since making his debut on November 19, 1995, for Parma against AC Milan, he bows out considered as one of the greatest goalkeepers of all time.