Gianluigi "Gigi" Buffon Masocco (born 28 January 1978 in Carrara, Italy), is an Italian footballer who plays as a goalkeeper for Serie A club Juventus and the Italian national team. He has won the FIFA World Cup and is widely considered by fans and experts to be one of most dominant and successful goalkeepers in history.Buffon was declared by Pelé to be one of the 125 greatest living footballers in the world, and has also been named the Serie A Goalkeeper of the Year a record eight times.
On 12 May 2006, Buffon, along with Juventus teammate and fellow goalkeeper Antonio Chimenti along with many other players, were implicated as participants in illegal betting on Serie A matches while with Parma. The following day, he voluntarily allowed himself to be questioned by Turin magistrates in an attempt to clear his name. While admitting that he did bet on sports (until regulations went into effect in late 2005, banning players from doing so), he vehemently denied placing wagers on Italian football matches. Fears arose that he had jeopardized his chance of playing in the 2006 FIFA World Cup, but he was officially named Italy's starting goalkeeper on 15 May. The players were cleared of all charges by the FIGC on 27 June 2007.Following Juventus' punishment in the Calciopoli scandal, rumors spread that Juventus were shopping Buffon on the transfer market as a cost-cutting measure, and many teams became interested in his services.However, no deals ever materialized as Buffon elected to remain with Juventus; his agent said, "Serie B is a division he has never won and he wants to try to do this."
Gianluigi Buffon be a Winner
After Juventus won the Cadetti and were promoted back into the top flight, Buffon signed a contract extension that will keep him at the club until 2012.Buffon was still in his best form for the 2007–2008 Serie A season, as he helped Juventus to a third place finish as well as UEFA Champions League qualification in their first season back. In 2008–2009, Buffon was again sidelined by several injuries, having problems with his back but principally a bad groin strain and a pulled muscle.From September through January, new Juventus reserve keeper, Alexander Manninger, held his position between the sticks, and gained a lot of praise for his deputizing.Because of this and Juve's poor form towards the end of the season, as Buffon was seen despondent as the team drew Lecce and Atalanta, there were further rumors that Buffon was upset and wanted to leave.He admitted he was upset but had no intentions to leave. After a discussion with management, he said he was reassured about the future of Juventus and signed a year extension to 2013. The 2010–2011 saw that Buffon didn't play the first part of the season, when he came back he had some very good performances.
During the 2006 World Cup finals, Buffon was in stunning form, as he conceded just two goals and kept five clean sheets, in addition to a 453-minute scoreless streak. The only goals he conceded were an own goal by teammate Cristian Zaccardo against the United States and a Zinedine Zidane penalty in the final against France, which ended 1–1 in extra-time and led to a penalty shootout in which neither Buffon nor Fabien Barthez saved a spot kick. The lone miss was David Trezeguet's effort which clanged off the bottom of the crossbar and failed to cross the line, which enabled Italy's Fabio Grosso to seal the victory for the Azzuri.Buffon received the Yashin Award for his accomplishments throughout the competition.Buffon recorded five clean sheets in the 2006 FIFA World Cup and has a career total of six.
Buffon was named Italy captain for Euro 2008 after incumbent Fabio Cannavaro was ruled out of the tournament due to injury. In the second game of the group stage against Romania on 13 June, he saved an 81st minute penalty from Adrian Mutu as the match ended 1–1 to keep Italy's hopes alive. Buffon kept a clean sheet against France in the final group game. Italy were eliminated in the quarter-finals nine days later after a 4–2 penalty shootout loss to Spain in which Buffon saved one penalty.
On 14 June 2010, Buffon was replaced at half-time in Italy's 1–1 draw in their World Cup Group F opener against Paraguay after he had a problem with his sciatic nerve, and did not play again in the tournament.
On February 9, Gigi Buffon made a return to La Nazionale, against Germany. He made several good saves, and kept the Azzurri in a position to draw. Buffon was named Captain for the event. In The Euro Qualifier against Slovenia, he was again named captain, and made several good saves. Once again showing at age 33, he is still one of the best Goalkeepers in the world.
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