Free agent Gianluigi Buffon joins PSG

ABS-CBN Sports on Jul 07, 2018 08:17 AM
Free agent Gianluigi Buffon joins PSG
FILE - In this Nov. 22, 2017 file photo Juventus goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon waves to fans at the end of the Champions League group D soccer match between Juventus and Barcelona, at the Allianz Stadium in Turin, Italy. Buffon on Friday, July 6, 2018 signed for Paris Saint-Germain as a free agent, penning a one-year deal with the option for an additional season. (AP Photo/Antonio Calanni, file)

PARIS (AP) — Free agent Gianluigi Buffon signed for Paris Saint-Germain on Friday.

The veteran goalkeeper penned a one-year deal at the French champion with the option for an additional season.

The 40-year-old Buffon left Juventus this season after 17 years with the Italian club during which he established himself as one of the best goalkeepers in the world.

"It is with a great feeling of happiness that I join Paris Saint-Germain," Buffon said. "For the first time in my career, I am leaving my country and only a project this ambitious could have encouraged me to make such a decision."

Buffon left Parma in 2001 and made 656 appearances for Juve. He won his ninth Serie A title this season, leading the Bianconeri to a fourth successive league and cup double.

One of the few trophies missing from his glittering collection, which includes the 2006 World Cup, is the Champions League. He lost three finals in that competition with Juve.

PSG was eliminated from the Champions League at the round of 16 stage this season, having reached the quarterfinals the previous four years.

"I want to thank the club and the president for their confidence," Buffon said. "To have followed the club's incredible progression in recent years, I know what dreams Paris Saint-Germain and its fans have in their hearts.

"I am going to bring all my energy, all my experience and all of my thirst to win to help my new club achieve all the great objectives it has set out for the future."

Buffon, former captain of Juve and Italy, retired from the international stage in November after the Azzurri lost a World Cup playoff to Sweden, although he returned for a couple of friendlies.

He made 176 appearances for Italy — a European record — and was voted Serie A's goalkeeper of the year 12 times.

Buffon's arrival may mean the end of goalkeeper Alphonse Areola's PSG career. Kevin Trapp, the No. 2 this season, also appears likely to be sold by new coach Thomas Tuchel.

Buffon will miss his new club's first three matches in the 2018-19 Champions League, after being suspended for his red card in this season's quarterfinal defeat against Real Madrid and for comments about the referee.

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