Turin, June 30
Gianluigi Buffon will continue playing for Juventus for another season — during which he’ll turn 43.
Juventus announced Monday that both Buffon and club captain Giorgio Chiellini extended their contracts for one more year.
Buffon returned to Juventus a year ago after one season away at Paris Saint-Germain. He joined the Bianconeri in 2001 after beginning his career with Parma.
Used in a reserve role behind first-choice goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny, Buffon has made 13 appearances for Juventus in all competitions this season.
With 10 league games left this season, Buffon needs only one more appearance to break a tie with AC Milan great Paolo Maldini for the Serie A record at 647 matches each.
The 35-year-old Chiellini has been a mainstay at center back for Juventus since 2006-07, when the Turin club spent a season in Serie B as punishment for the “Calciopoli” refereeing scandal. He joined Juventus on a full-time basis in 2005.
Both Buffon and Chiellini are expected to take on front-office positions with Juventus when they retire.
Sarri says home advantage still exists despite empty stadiums
Juventus coach Maurizio Sarri still believes that playing at home continues to offer an advantage despite matches currently being played without fans because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“It still exists even when there isn’t a crowd,” he told a news conference ahead of their visit to Genoa for a Serie A match on Tuesday.
“You feel more comfortable and confident at home, there are certain things you can depend on, the surroundings are familiar. It still has an effect.”
Juventus, chasing a ninth successive title, have a four-point lead over Lazio, who visit Torino also on Tuesday.
“The game will be a complicated one, as they always are against teams who are fighting relegation,” said Sarri, who was speaking shortly before Juventus confirmed they had agreed to swap midfielder Miralem Pjanic with Barcelona’s Arthur Melo.
The match will be Juve’s fourth since the season restarted following the novel coronavirus stoppage.
“We are still in the phase where we are looking for our best physical condition and that is the case for all of the teams,” said Sarri. “As the days go by, the reverse problem will arise with the accumulation of matches.” — AP, Reuters