He is back home! Gianluigi Buffon seals fairytale return to Parma 20 years after departing for Juventus… with legendary Italian goalkeeper announced in stunning Superman-themed video by Serie B outfit
- Gianluigi Buffon won three trophies and played 220 games for Parma 1995-2001
- The Italian then went on to join Juventus in a then-record £32million transfer
- But in a Superman-themed announcement video, Parma confirmed his return
- The 43-year-old keeper is believed to have turned down Barcelona and Besiktas
Gianluigi Buffon has sealed a dramatic return to Parma 20 years after he left the club to join Italian giants Juventus.
Buffon made 220 appearances and won three trophies for Parma between 1995 until 2001, when he left for Turin in a £32million move – at the time a record fee for a goalkeeper – to replace Edwin van der Sar.
But now in an impressive, Superman-themed announcement video released by the club, the legendary Italian goalkeeper has come back to the club where it all began for him 26 years ago after leaving the Allianz Stadium on a free transfer.
Gianluigi Buffon has sealed a dramatic return to Parma 20 years after he left the club
Buffon made 220 appearances and won three trophies for Parma between 1995 until 2001
The video shows a hooded figure take a shovel and dig up a box inside the goalmouth at the Stadio Tardini, in which he finds a Superman shirt and Parma’s goalkeeper kit.
He is then welcomed home by a mysterious caller before taking his hood off and stating: ‘I’m back’, with the video ending with the words ‘Superman Returns’.
Buffon, 43, is believed to have turned down LaLiga giants Barcelona in order to sign a two-year deal with the Serie B club that could see him play until he is 45.
He has also chosen to stay in Italy for family reasons and is now targeting promotion back to Serie A with Parma, who finished bottom of Italy’s top tier in 2020-21 with a miserly total of 20 points.
The announcement video had a Superman theme to it as Parma welcomed Buffon back
Ronald Koeman and Barcelona were also interested but he has decided to stay in Italy
Buffon will join a setup with some familiar faces, with Javier Ribalta, once of Manchester United, now Parma’s technical director, while one of Buffon’s former team-mates is Parma’s manager, in Enzo Maresca.
Buffon arrives with assurances over being the No 1 goalkeeper at the club, which appears to have proved pivotal in his decision.
Barcelona were keen to bring him to Spain with manager Ronald Koeman looking to make the most of swooping for free agents, but he would have faced competition from Marc-Andre ter Stegen at Camp Nou.
He also had an offer from Besiktas in Turkey but has decided to remain in his native country, whom he is still hoping to represent at the 2022 World Cup team for the tournament in Qatar.
The 43-year-old has not given up hope of playing for his country at the 2022 World Cup
Buffon isn’t in Roberto Mancini’s Italy squad for Euro 2020 but has 176 Italy caps to his name and won the World Cup in 2006.
The goalkeeper won 10 Serie A titles and five Coppa Italias in 684 appearances Turin, but his first pieces of silverware came in the 1998-99 season when Parma won the UEFA Cup as well as the Coppa Italia and Supercoppa Italiana.
Buffon also spent a year at Paris Saint-Germain – where he won Ligue 1 – in 2018-19, but returned to Juventus the following season after making just 25 appearances for the French side.
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