Buffon chose Juventus over Barcelona
Gianluigi Buffon has revealed he has his father to thank for joining Juventus 12 years ago instead of Barcelona.
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The 35-year-old will make his 450th appearance for the Bianconeri in Saturday’s clash with Fiorentina, but he says he would never have pulled on a Juve shirt had it not been for some paternal advice when he chose to leave Parma in 2001, and turn down Barcelona in the process.
"Before I joined Juve, I could have gone to Barcelona," he told Mediaset. "It was my dad who told me to go to the Bianconeri, and I thank him for that to this day. I’ve had so much satisfaction in Turin, and let’s not forget, Barcelona at the time were not the Barcelona they are today."
Barca were not the first major European club Buffon turned down in his career. The Italy No. 1 decided against a move to AC Milan at the age of 13, when he chose the Gialloblu of Parma instead.
"Parma was the best choice a lad like me could have taken at the time," he said. "It was a dream come true for me.
"I won a lot with Parma, but my biggest regret is that we did not win the Scudetto, probably because we were too young and immature to get the continuity which guides you to success."
Now, 22 years on, he has chosen to dedicate the remainder of his playing days to Juve, a decision he also does not regret even if he could have earned more money elsewhere.
"It was a big decision," he said. "And I had a big offer from Eastern Europe which would have made anybody weak at the knees.
"I’m going to carry on playing for several years while I am still able to surprise people positively, like I’ve been able to do so far in my career." And like Scudetto rivals Roma are currently doing in Serie A. "They’re surprising everybody, but they deserve to be where they are."