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Wednesday, January 23, 2013
Buffon signs new Juventus deal

Adam Digby, Italy Correspondent

Juventus goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon inked a new three-year contract with the club at a high-profile public signing in Turin on Wednesday.

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Buffon, 34, joined Juve from Parma in 2001 for a fee of €55 million, has made over 500 appearances in all competitions for the Bianconeri.

Both club and player have constantly played down the need to sign a new deal as speculation mounted that Buffon could leave. However, he has now followed in the footsteps of Giorgio Chiellini and Claudio Marchisio, agreeing terms on a bonus-laden extension until June 2015.

"When I arrived at Juve my only concern was whether or not I could cut it at this level," he told the club's official website. "I hope to play for as long as I'm able and I'm ready to give my all. We'd originally talked about a one-year renewal but Juve made the counter-offer of a two-year deal.

"Juve don't improvise, they plan. So it was only right for the club to come back with another offer of two years so that they will not have to consider signing a new goalkeeper for two years."

"I never considered any other club. I've been here for many years and the Juventus shirt is a lifestyle. It's hard to imagine me in another one. There is a World Cup in a year and a half and then a European Championship three and a half years later. I want to reach that stage in the shape I am today. We'll see what happens in 2015."

Buffon has won Serie A five times with the Turin giants - despite the 2005 and 2006 titles being revoked - as well as lifting the World Cup with Italy in 2006 and finishing as a Champions League runner-up to AC Milan in 2003.

When asked about his favourite save from an 18-year career, he joked: "The next one. I'm hoping I don't have to make many. But the best I've made up to now was the one against Zidane in the World Cup final.''

Club president Andrea Agnelli also paid tribute to Buffon while backing him to become only the second goalkeeper to win the coveted Ballon d'Or, before he retires.

"Buffon is tied to us for another two years, until June 2015,'' Agnelli said. "He's already among the best and greatest names in the history of Juventus. I like remembering the five titles he won on the pitch, and the World Cup, but what sets him apart is his honesty and his leadership.

"He hasn't won a Ballon d'Or yet, only (Russian goalkeeper Lev) Yashin has done that, but I hope he will do so in the next two years. And no, I never worried about losing Gigi.''




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