Today is the day in which we celebrate Gianluigi Buffon's 37th birthday. Today is also the day that Juventus plays Parma in the Coppa Italia. You know who used to play for Parma before he signed for a world-record fee at his position? Yeah, Gianluigi Buffon.
So, as you can probably tell, it's day full of nostalgia for the G.O.A.T. as he officially enters his late-30s and revisits the place where everything began as a professional footballer.
A special trip on a special day... @gianluigibuffon returns to former club Parma tonight. #HappyBirthdayGigi pic.twitter.com/bnWmH1P7gw— JuventusFC (@juventusfcen) January 28, 2015
You know what would also be cool on this day? Juventus beating Parma and advancing to the semifinals of the Coppa Italia, which in turn would put a smile on our lovely captain's face. (Honestly, who doesn't want to see that? Sick people, I tell you, that's who.)
Juventus made their first Coppa Italia contest look like a breeze, beating Hellas Verona 6-1 in Turin. Their next opponent is the same team that currently resides at the bottom of the Serie A table. I could spit a bunch of stats, or I could just tell you this: Parma's form this season has been terrible, highlighted most recently — and not in a good way — by a 2-1 loss to Cesena. You know, one of the teams they're trying to finish ahead of in the race to avoid relegation this season.
And now they to rebound against the class of the country ... squad rotation and all? Roberto Donadoni's seat may as well be blistering hot entering tonight's game. It's not like a loss — or a potentially bad loss — will do a lot to help his cause.
So good luck, Parma. Don't you dare go and ruin our beloved Gigi's birthday.
Starting lineups for both Juventus AND Parma will be posted RIGHT HERE when they become available. Will we get one Simone? Will we get two Simones? Will we get ALL the Simones? Coppa Italia squad rotation, the chance for all the Simone-centric fangirls to get their worthwhile. Oh what fun there could be!
UPDATE: LINEUPS ARE IN!
Juventus XI (4-3-3): Storari; Lichtsteiner, Ogbonna, Chiellini, Padoin; Vidal, Pirlo, Marchisio; Pepe, Llorente, Coman
Juventus bench: Buffon, Rubinho, Caceres, Barzagli, Bonucci, Evra, Pogba, Pereyra, Morata, Giovinco
Parma XI (4-3-3): Mirante; Paletta, Lucarelli, Pedro Mendes, Rispoli, Gobbi, Galloppa, Mariga, Nocerino, Palladino, Rodriguez
Parma bench: Lucas Souza, Cassani, Jose Mauri, Santacroce, Iacobucci, De Ceglie, Varela, Lodi, Rossetto, Costa, Pozzi
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