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Report: At 45 years old, Gianluigi Buffon strongly considering retirement

The GOAT might finally see is legendary career come to an end.

Gianluigi Buffon of Juventus FC celebrates during the... Photo by Nicolò Campo/LightRocket via Getty Images

Like many clubs, the second week of July has brought the beginning of preseason training for Parma as they look to again claw their way back into Serie A. There has, however, been one very noticeable absence from Parma’s preseason preparations.

His name is Gianluigi Buffon.

There’s a very good reason for that: Buffon, now a few months on from his 45th (!!!) birthday, is considering retirement more than ever before. This is according to Sky Italia’s Gianluca Di Marzio on Tuesday night, with the former Juve No. 1 trying to make the final decision on when to finally hang up his gloves for good or play another season in Serie B at the same club where his legendary career began.

Both Di Marzio and Nicolo Schira have reported Tuesday that Buffon had multiple offers from Saudi Arabia on the table but, until this point, turned them down despite the chance to secure one final big-money paycheck.

No matter if his age has started with a “3” or a “4,” Buffon has always maintained that he would play for as long as he felt he could physically do it. The fact that he is seriously thinking of retiring comes as no surprise considering that the 2022-23 season was one where he missed nearly 20 games due to a variety of muscle injuries, most notably a hamstring strain that kept him out for three months.

It was the most amount of games Buffon — who appeared in a total of 19 games in the 2022-23 season — had missed in a single season since his long-term back injury coming out of the 2010 World Cup in South Africa where he missed five months.

After departing Juventus for a second time in the summer of 2021, Buffon has spent the last two seasons at Parma, trying to get the club he started his legendary career at back into Serie A after they were relegated after the 2020-21 season. This past year, Parma was able to advance to the semifinals of the Serie B promotion playoffs, but couldn’t hold an early lead against Cagliari, eventually losing the two-legged tie 3-2 on aggregate.

One of Italy’s standout performers during the run to winning the 2006 World Cup, Buffon is second to only Alessandro Del Piero in terms of appearance in a Juventus shirt with 685.