Juventus goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon has admitted that he is fearing the day he retires from football, whilst reflecting on his decision to stay with the club after they were demoted to Serie B.
The veteran Italian international looks set to hang up his gloves at the end of the current campaign, after captaining the Bianconeri to an unprecedented seventh consecutive Scudetto, but insisted he would remain in the sport.
“If I told you that I’m not afraid of retirement then I would probably be lying,” the 40-year-old declared in an interview with Barcelona defender Gerard Pique for The Players Tribune.
“If I do continue playing I would be happy because I’d be in a healthy environment and know I can contribute. If I can’t, then there is no problem, I will have enjoyed a wonderful career.
“Inside, I have the peace and serenity that comes with knowing that, as a curious person, I won’t become bored after giving up football. I would like to do all the various training courses to learn to become a sporting director or a coach, then calmly choose a path to follow.”
Buffon was one of only a handful of senior players to remain at Juventus following their demotion to Serie B as punishment for involvement in the Calciopoli scandal in 2006.
The Italian World Cup winner marshalled the Bianconeri to an immediate return to Serie A, and insisted that the glory he has enjoyed since has vindicated his decision to stay.
“At the moment when I decided to stay in Serie B I was happy and willing to do so,” Buffon continued.
“It was an opportunity to send an important message with actions, to show a signal of attachment and gratitude to the club, and prove there is more than just a desire for money or popularity. I did it with pleasure and I would do so again.
“After our return to Serie A we struggled for an identity and finished sixth and seventh. I used to question why I had made the decision to stay as we remained out of the Champions League. But everything came together and we have now won seven Scudetti. I am very happy that my choice has been rewarded,” the former Parma star concluded.
Buffon has made 655 appearances for Juventus since arriving in 2001, and has lifted the Coppa Italia four times in addition to the nine Serie A titles he has won at the club.