Gianluigi Buffon’s return to Juventus last summer was a pretty surprising occurrence based on the goodbye he was given around 14 months earlier. Now that he’s back in Turin, though, the fact that Buffon is quite happy, healthy and eager to play into his mid-40s isn’t as surprising.
And it looks like we’re going to receive further confirmation of that.
According to the Friday morning edition of Tuttosport, Buffon will add on another year to his storied career at Juventus, agreeing to a one-year contract extension that will keep him at the club through 2021. Buffon and Juventus President Andrea Agnelli — who, by all accounts, are pretty good friends — came to the agreement over the phone, Tuttosport said, with the paper adding that the possibility of the legendary Italian goalkeeper playing beyond his next contract extension shouldn’t be ruled out.
Along the same lines of the report we heard about on Thursday regarding Juve and Paulo Dybala coming to terms on his own contract extension, the only thing that is standing between’s Buffon deal becoming official is, you guessed it — the coronavirus.
#Buffon, accordo con #Agnelli: rinnovo con la #Juve! https://t.co/uVpMkNkXnN— Tuttosport (@tuttosport) April 17, 2020
There you go. Dad isn’t going anywhere. Not that we really expected him to go anywhere other than to Allianz Stadium every few days anyway.
Buffon’s role this season (and next and however long after that) is obviously very different to that of what it was for his near-two decades of dominance in goal prior to his year in France with Paris Saint-Germain. Buffon has gone from the undisputed No. 1 at Juventus for 17 years to playing in seven Serie A games this season while also filling in for Wojciech Szczesny in the Coppa Italia.
Buffon knew that was the deal, and he has handled it about as well as we could have hoped he would. Then again, Buffon coming back to Juventus was something that obviously he pushed for and understood that Szczesny was going to be the full-time starter and play the cast majority of the games, so it’s not like that’s the breaking news element of this. And you can see that the way Buffon and Szczesny get along and the mutual respect they have for one another, something that goes back to when Tek first arrived in Turin in 2017.
The biggest decision in all of this was just if Buffon felt like he was capable of playing at a high level if he were to play in goal beyond his 43rd birthday. If he plays anything like he has as a 41- or 42-year-old, then 43 will be pretty dang good as well.
And it looks like Buffon backing up Szczesny is going to be the goalkeeping hierarchy again next season. There’s much, much worse kinds of depth charts to draw up, you know.