I still have many targets: Buffon

Rome, July 5 (IANS) Italy goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon on Tuesday said he still “has many objectives” with the national side and football club Juventus before he hangs up his boots in 2018.

Buffon has already announced that he will retire after the World Cup in Russia in 2018 but is not yet planning on his post-playing career.

“There are still two years of activities to be pursued with the utmost concentration, because it will be increasingly difficult to win every year, since the competitors are better,” Buffon was quoted as saying by football-italia.net.

“That goes for Italy and in Europe. I don’t have any concrete projects for the future, and I think there’s still time to evaluate the best direction to go in.

“Buffon still has many objectives, both personal and sporting. From a sporting point of view, I want to play in the World Cup in Russia in 2018, and continue to do well in Italy and Europe with Juventus,” the Italian captain added.

The 38-year-old, who also leads Juventus insisted that the job comes with a lot of responsibility.

“What does it mean to be Juventus captain? It means representing a style, an atmosphere and a group.”

“It means setting the example every day in showing the value of this shirt and what it means for millions of fans. When you become captain of a team it means a bit of time has passed.”

“Italy? The principle is very similar, dare I say the same. Juventus is one of the biggest clubs in the world, and certainly the most popular in Italy.

“The national team is another dimension again. To represent your country and to be lucky enough to do it around the world is a privilege.”

Asked if he considers himself as an icon, Buffon said: “Do I feel like a symbol? I prefer to separate my private life from my sporting and professional one. I consider myself a normal person, with strengths and weaknesses like any other individual.”

“But on a sporting level, I’ve had extraordinary results and achievements, thanks to a professionalism which can certainly be – and I’d be proud if it was – an example to follow.”

The veteran custodian also discussed his best stops over the years and placed the save against French legend Zinedine Zidane in the 2006 World Cup final as the third in the list.

“My best save? Fortunately there are many that I remember with great affection and pride. I always choose three: Italy-Paraguay in Parma when I was 19, from Recoba in Parma-Inter in 2000 and from Zidane in the 2006 World Cup final,” said the World Cup winner.



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