Gianluigi Buffon hints he'll keep playing as Paris Saint-Germain links persist
Gianluigi Buffon has hinted that he is going to continue his playing career amid mounting speculation he is set to sign for Paris Saint-Germain.
The 40-year-old is now out of contract after his deal with Juventus expired on Saturday and he has told Sky Sport Italia that he still has something burning inside him, telling him not to hang up his gloves.
"If things are to continue, we will see -- if it is the case, then it's because I have a lot of motivation which is pushing a 40-year-old to want to put himself to the test again, and live more emotions," Buffon said.
"The emotions you feel when you're playing are hard to feel in life, and probably there is also the need and desire to show how good you are and how well you can perform, in spite of your age. These are the small challenges that each of us accept."
Buffon was considering extending his contract with Juve, but he says he has no regrets about how his 17-year stay in Turin came to an end last season, when he won a seventh straight Scudetto with the Bianconeri.
"I'm extremely proud of how it ended," he said. "It ended on a high and enthusiastically, with a very beautiful farewell with the president, my teammates, directors and the fans. It was something strong, beautiful and deserved, because I received a lot in 17 years but I think I gave all that I had for the cause.
"So when there is this awareness and serenity of having given everything, you are happy when this story has such an ending. Juve's strength was not Buffon or an individual, but the strength of planning and clarity of ideas, of the whole group. Juve will continue to be protagonists."
17 anni in bianconero che si concludono ufficialmente oggi. 17 anni di amici, compagni, lacrime, vittorie, sconfitte, trofei, parole, rabbia, delusioni, felicità e tante, tantissime emozioni. Non dimenticherò mai nulla. Porterò sempre tutto con me. #FinoAllaFine pic.twitter.com/Qu1vb0UOH2— Gianluigi Buffon (@gianluigibuffon) June 30, 2018
He posted a tweet on the day his Juve contract ended which read: "17 years in black and white that officially conclude today. 17 years of friends, companions, tears, victories, defeats, trophies, words, anger, disappointments, happiness and many, many emotions. I'll never forget anything. I'll always take everything with me."
Should Buffon carry on playing, he says he will not pull on an Italy shirt again. He declined an invitation by the Italian FA to play one final time in a friendly against Netherlands in Turin last month and it was suggested he may be hoping to earn another official cap, but he says the time is right for him to step aside.
"It's over," he said. "It's time to give room to the youngsters. I've given the best I've got, in terms both of talent and nervous energy. Now there are lots of young players and it's right that things move on with them.
"Now it's time for these lads to assume all the responsibility."