Serie A - Buffon: 'I could have joined Barcelona'

Gianluigi Buffon revealed he “could’ve gone to Barcelona” in 2001, but thanks his father for steering him towards Juventus.

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Italy's goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon (Reuters)

The goalkeeper has become an icon in Turin, staying on even after Calciopoli and their demotion to Serie B.

“Before joining the Bianconeri in 2001, I could’ve gone to Barcelona,” he told Sport Mediaset.

“My father suggested Juventus. I still thank him to this day, as I had many satisfying moments here. The Barcelona back then was not the same team as today.

“Signing a contract renewal in 2013 was another important step. I decided to stay at Juventus, even though I had an important offer from Eastern Europe that would’ve made anyone wobble.

“I hope to play for a few more years, as long as I will be able to surprise the way I always have done in my career.”

Buffon went back to the beginning and the decision to join Parma as a teenager.

“I was wanted by Parma, Milan and with more moderate interest also Bologna. My parents did well to choose Parma, as they considered it more suited to a 13-year-old. Any parent, perhaps rightly, would’ve preferred to say their child played for Milan, but they worried about finding the best place for me to grow up.

“My Serie A debut was a dream come true, but then again at the age of 17 I was already an audacious kid. I knew I wouldn’t be a flash in the pan and wanted to write important pages in the history of this sport.

“I won a great deal with Parma, but there are regrets I never won the Scudetto with them. Perhaps we were too young and immature to find the consistency needed.”

There is another trophy Buffon is yet to win for Juventus or any other club – the Champions League – and next week he’ll face Real Madrid.

“They say Real are not going through a good moment, but the truth is that with their players it doesn’t take much to turn the situation around. It might be unsporting, but I do hope they face us with empty tanks.

“A victory against Real Madrid would boost our self-confidence. We need to start a winning journey in Europe too.”

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