At this time last year, the possibility of Gianluigi Buffon returning to Juventus only seemed like it would happen as a front office member, not one who was actively contributing to the squad on the field. Buffon got the big farewell, the lap of honor around Allianz Stadium and pretty much every other sign of aspiration somebody would want on what every thought was his final game as a Juventus player.
Then, after less than a year in Paris, he came back to Juventus.
Based simply on his age, it was never going to be a long-term deal. A year, maybe something more than that based on how the old fella felt as the 2019-20 season went on.
Last month, Tuttosport reported that Buffon and Juventus would talk about a possible contract extension at some point in March to keep the 42-year-old goalkeeper around another season. Seeing as that reference to next month made last month is now that aforementioned next month, that time might as well be arriving.
Tuesday’s edition of Tuttosport reported that Buffon will in fact extend his contract with Juventus another season, keeping him tied to the club through the 2020-21 campaign. This comes just a few days after Buffon told Juventus TV that retirement wasn’t a sure thing following the current season, one where he has appeared in seven Serie A games as Wojciech Szczesny’s backup.
And as he’s shown in many of those appearances, he’s still capable of being a quality goalkeeper despite his age. (Seriously, he is still doing this as he closes in on his mid-40s.)
So much of Buffon’s career being extended into his 40s has been simply going year-by-year and having it be more about him feeling like he can hold himself to his lofty standard more than anything else. The one season with Paris Saint-Germain was a mixed bag, but this season — outside of a few mistakes early in the season — has pretty much been steady as it gets for Buffon, who arrived back at the club with the complete understanding that playing time wasn’t going to be a consistent aspect of his season.
Judging by what Buffon has continuously said this season, he feels good physically and about how he has played. And if he feels like he can continue to contribute in a way that will be beneficial to the club rather than one where he’s costing them points and games, then the likelihood of Buffon sporting a No. 77 jersey again next season is pretty good.