Italian Legendary goalkeeper, Gianluigi Buffon has officially announced his retirement from professional football at the age of 45.
The 2006 world cup winner had previously stated that he intends to keep playing until the 2026 World Cup and had full intentions of seeing out his contract at Parma, which expires in June 2024.
However, a string of injuries over the past year have led the goalkeeper to reconsider his future before announcing the news on Wednesday.
He took to social media to post a video of some of his best career highlights, along with the caption: ‘That’s all folks! You gave me everything. I gave you everything. We did it together.’
Buffon is now expected to be offered the Chief of Delegation role for the Italian national team, previously held by former Chelsea striker Gianluca Vialli.
Buffon re-joined Parma in 2021 after starting his career in the academy before securing a move to Juventus. He had returned in the hopes of getting Parma back into Italy’s top-flight but was unable to do so during his final two seasons with the Serie B side.
He made 45 appearances in all competitions during his second stint with Parma but was plagued by injuries last season. He only played 19 times in the 2022-23 campaign as he was sidelined by hamstring and calf issues.
During the course of a remarkable career, Buffon won 10 Serie A titles, six Supercoppa Italianas, six Coppa Italias and a World Cup in 2006.
He also holds the record for the most appearances in Serie A with 657 games to his name.After retiring, Buffon is in line to take on a role as Italy’s national team delegation chief.