Juventus legend Buffon to leave club at the end of season

Juventus’ Gianluigi Buffon gestures to the fans at the end of the match

"I am very excited, but I come to this day with happiness and fulfilment".

The 40-year-old's last game for the club will be against Verona on Sunday - his 640th in Serie A. These feelings are children of an extraordinary and attractive journey, shared with people who have loved me.

That was his 176th cap for Italy - a national record - since his debut against Russian Federation in October 1997.

"Saturday will be my final match for Juventus and to end this journey with two cups and with the president and the entire Bianconeri world by my side, will be very special", Buffon said.

A tearful Buffon appeared to announce his retirement from global football following Italy's World Cup playoff defeat to Sweden last November, although he did pull on an Italy shirt - and the captain's armband - again in their 2-0 defeat to Argentina in a friendly in March.

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"The more I see him on the pitch, the less he seems to me like a player on the cusp of walking into the sunset", Veronica Buffon told Tuttosport. And when I'm not myself anymore, I'll go. I've had a great career anyway. My fear was to arrive at the end of my adventure with Juve as somebody just being tolerated or a player whose engine had broken down - I can say it is not like this, and I am proud that I have been able to express maybe not my best, but performances always worthy of my name and Juventus. I'll never get bored or miss being in the public eye. I looked at Gigi and I said "where are you going next year'". Every morning you are given a timetable.

Buffon will walk away from the game as one of the most decorated footballers in history, having won 22 trophies in Italy during his spells at Parma and Juventus.

Asked if he had ever thought about playing overseas, Buffon said: "I would have liked to because I like being around different people, other ways of life, of thinking".

'As a figure in sports, I didn't and still don't want to leave Italy as long as I don't have to'.

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