Long regarded as the finest goalkeeper in the world, Buffon became the most expensive shot-stopper in history when he joined Juventus for Â£32.6 million in 2001. Since that record-breaking move the Italian has proved his considerable worth for both club and country, culminating in World Cup triumph in 2006.
After winning the 2001-02 and 2002-03 Scudetti in Turin, Buffon stayed loyal to Juventus after they were demoted to Serie B in the Italian match-fixing scandal and he was rewarded with an instant return to the top fight, which inspired the big keeper to sign an extension to his contract until 2012.
Buffon has won everything in the Italian game and was a major part of the Italy side that won the World Cup - enjoying a 453-minute scoreless streak and conceding just two goals (one an own goal and the other a penalty) during the tournament.
His personal accolades include the UEFA award for Most Valuable Player and Best Goalkeeper. He was also named by Pele as one of the top 125 players in the game. The keeper was handed the honour of captaining his nation following Fabio Cannavaro's retirement in 2011.
Strengths: An agile, commanding shot-stopper who is hugely experienced at the highest level.
Weaknesses: Has been caught out a few times from crosses and age is catching with him so his mobility is not what it once was.
Career high: Winning the World Cup in 2006 with Italy.
Career low: Being demoted to Serie B with Juventus following the calciopoli scandal.
Style: Accomplished, commanding, a well respected keeper.
Quotes: "Gigi Buffon is in every way an original. His talent very quickly made him the No.1 with Italy, whilst his personality, which is never banal, is characterised by great bravery both in his statements to the press and as he comes out to smother the ball at the feet of onrushing players." Italian journalist Leo Turrini.
Trivia: Buffon hails from sporting stock as he is a nephew of keeping legend Lorenzo Buffon. His father Adriano was a weight lifter while his mother was a discus thrower.