It seems that Gianluigi Buffon is just like good wine — he gets better with age. The Juventus and Italy captain is 38 years old, but he is showing no signs of ageing as he tries to win a fifth successive Serie A title with Juventus.
Buffon is now well and truly the grand old man of Italian football, who is protecting the Old Lady’s goal with as much dexterity as ever seen in the country’s domestic football scene.
His recent achievements with Juventus helps to amplify the fact that even at the age of 38, Buffon has much to offer, not only to his club, but also to his country. If there were any doubts about Buffon’s chances in the upcoming Euro 2016, the Juventus custodian has dismissed all of them with his breathtaking record of 10 consecutive clean sheets in the Serie A.
Buffon reached this feat after their Friday night match against Sassuolo, which the Bianconeri won 1-0 thanks to a Paulo Dybala goal. However, not conceding a goal has become so common for Juventus, that we hardly seem to notice (or applaud) their clean sheets.
Following Zoff’s footsteps
In fact, Buffon has already established himself at a higher platform than Juve legend Dino Zoff. There is a striking similarity between the two, who have both captained Juventus and Italy. However, by keeping a clean sheet against Sassuolo, Buffon has been able to surpass Zoff’s feat of not conceding a goal for 903 minutes.
Buffon was on 836 minutes without conceding a goal in the Serie A before the Sassuolo game. Now however, the Juve custodian has taken his tally to 926 minutes. However, this does not make Buffon the Serie A record holder, with regards to the number of minutes played without conceding a goal.
Former AC Milan goalkeeper Sebastiano Rossi currently holds the record at 929 minutes, but Buffon can etch his name in the history books if he does not concede in the first three minutes of the Turin Derby against Torino next weekend.
Before that though, the herculean goalkeeper has to gear up for an away trip to Bayern Munich. The first leg of the tie was a 2-2 draw at the Juventus Stadium, and the Bianconeri find themselves needing a win at the Allianz Arena, something that has not happened too often this season.
In fact, the simple matter of scoring against Bayern is something that has proved to be difficult so far. Their star goalkeeper Manuel Neuer has kept three clean sheets so far in this season’s Champions League campaign, having made 19 saves in total. However, Buffon trumps Neuer in this area with three clean sheets of his own, and 22 saves.