Buffon confirmed his retirement at the end of the season

Arguably the greatest goalkeeper of his generation, Buffon, 39, has declared that the only thing that would keep him from retiring after the World Cup would be winning European club football's biggest prize.

Italian worldwide goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon has announced that he will retire at the end of the season, unless his club Juventus win the Champions League. As a outcome, playing on for one or two more years would not take anything away from or add anything to what I have already done.

"There's no margin (to change mind) because I'm quite convinced of the choices I've made".

Buffon collected the best goalkeeper award at FIFA's The Best awards ceremony on Monday, beating the likes of Manuel Neuer, Keylor Navas and David De Gea.

"I'm not afraid of the future, indeed".

"In that case, I think Szczesny and I could split time. but with a goalkeeper like him behind me, I think it's normal that I'll be stepping aside next year". I'm proud of it but I want to say thanks to my club, my coach and team-mates because they help me to make it possible, ' Buffon said. At that point, to try to win the Club World Cup, maybe [Wojciech] Szczęsny could play one game and me another.

He has been part of five World Cup squads stretching back to 1998, but may not make the 2018 edition unless Italy beat Sweden in their play-off match in November.

"For this year I hope we can play better and with a national team and Juventus because I would like to finish with a victory". "Twelve years ago, I won the World Cup, yet I've lost three Champions League finals".

'The only way would be to win the Champions League.

  • Steve Townsend