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Buffon: Don’t plan my funeral yet

Legendary goalie blasts his critics

Empoli FC v Juventus FC - Serie A Photo by Gabriele Maltinti/Getty Images

Gianluigi Buffon has heard this a few times in the last few years. After a couple of shocking gaffes for the Italy national team and then for Juventus over the weekend, critics and fans alike wondered if Father Time was finally showing his effects on Superman.

Today, he turned back the clock with a shining performance the kind that Bianconeri have gotten used to seeing for decades.

The goalie fired back at the naysayers during his post-match interview -

“People can organise a funeral, but there’s nobody there.

“I have said many times, without arrogance, that I am very auto-critical and don’t need to listen to others who try to use situations to disrespect and show a lack of fairness to people.

“I’ve heard many stupid things in recent weeks, but just one true comment: ‘I expect more from Buffon.’ That is true and I agreed with that wholeheartedly.”

His reaction save in the second half was so amazing that even his opposite number Anthony Lopes applauded.

“I didn’t celebrate after the saves because we were down to 10 men and I didn’t want to waste energy. I wanted to remain focused on what was going on in front of me, as I owed that to my teammates, to my club and to our fans who have always been unbeatable with me.”

Gigi talked about his teammates’ effort on the day too.

“Juve must improve, because this is not enough in my view to go all the way. Paradoxically, we seemed more compact and more like a team once we went down to 10 men. We managed to suffer under pressure, but also weren’t just happy with a point, and that shows our spirit.

“We have the opportunity to do a lot better and it would be a real shame if we didn’t use the time leading up to the next round in March to step up a few levels.

“Lyon have European experience over the last 15 years, so this was a very tough test for us and a win would put one foot in the next round. Apart from the penalty, I didn’t get the feeling we could lose when it was 11 against 11. After the red card, one had to consider the possibility.

“We need to make some big steps forward in terms of beautiful football, though.”

Man. Goalkeeper. Legend.