Gianluigi Buffon close to fairytale return to Serie B side Parma

Buffon is set to return to his roots
Buffon is set to return to his roots / Claudio Villa/Getty Images

Italy and Juventus legend Gianluigi Buffon is close to making a dramatic return to Serie B side Parma, the club where he started his illustrious career 30 years ago.

The 43-year-old signed for the Crociati as a schoolboy and made his debut at the age of 17 in 1995. He eventually left for Turin in 2001, where he would go on to become a legend of the game.

According to Fabrizio Romano, Buffon is 'close' to signing for Parma on a free transfer, completing a dramatic return to the club that gave him his first chance in football three decades ago.

The former Italy international left Juve at the end of the season, stating that he wanted to play as much first-team football as possible before hanging up his gloves. He even rejected advances from Spanish giants Barcelona, as he was fixed on finding a club where he would be the number one between the sticks.

It appears that Buffon has landed on a romantic reunion with Parma, where he will play out his final years trying to restore them to their former glories of the late 1990's.

I Crociati suffered a disappointing relegation from Serie A in the 2020/21 campaign, finishing bottom of the table with a meagre 20 points. They managed to win only three times all campaign, in stark contrast to their 11th place finish the year before.

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Buffon is a legend at Parma / Claudio Villa/Getty Images

Buffon's mission will firstly be to return Parma to the top flight at the first time of asking, and then depending on how long he intends to keep playing, to try and fire them back up the table towards European qualification.

The World Cup winner was part of the famous Parma team which won the UEFA Cup and the Coppa Italia in the 1998/99 season, bringing unprecedented glory to the Italian side.