Juventus stopper Gianluigi Buffon has admitted that he will 'probably' retire come the end of the season - once again reiterating his plan to leave the game after two decades in professional football.
The legendary goalkeeper is still reeling from the heartbreak of failing to qualify for the 2018 Russia World Cup in the summer, but continues to press on with club Juventus - aiming to be able to bow out with a Champions League final victory.
And now, with everything all but confirmed that Buffon will retire at the end of the season, an in depth interview with German paper Der Spiegel has effectively shown why the Italian feels it is time to hang up his gloves:
“I feel like a soldier that is serving Juventus and this country." Buffon began (via Calcio Mercato).
"I will forever be at their disposal after the end of my career because I will probably retire at the end of the season. I’m 40 and I must leave space for the others.
"I could stop the growth of other players and I don’t want that but if somebody would ever need a goalkeeper I’d be ready to respond even if I were 80.”
The 39-year-old went on to explain why he's angry that he has to retire, but admits that his career has given him nothing but fond memories:
“I am sorry for the World Cup, it will be my biggest regret. It could have been the perfect competition to end my career but the reason why I am angry is the fact that I won’t be allowed to play with some of my best teammates and friends like (Andrea) Barzagli and (Daniele) De Rossi.
"Neither this disappointment nor the Champions League final in Cardiff change something about my career, I am happy of what I have done.”