For fans of Italian football in the 1990s, few sights were more intriguing than the Parma side of the middle and late decade. The team was furnished with stars new and old, but one of the most impressive was Gianluigi Buffon. The young keeper was aggressive, eccentric, modern, and absolutely outstanding at making clutch saves. Eventually, though, he arrived at Juventus and spent the vast majority of his career there. Bar a move to Paris for a short spell, a return to Juve seen Buffon take up the backup slot for the season. Now 43, the former Italy goalkeeper is believed to want one more season of regular football.
Where better to get that, then, than with the team where he made his name?
The Parma he will join, though, is not the same team – in many ways. For one, the club has literally gone through liquidation since he last played. Parma, too, could face relegation this season meaning that Buffon could once again return to Serie B as he had done when playing for Juventus in 2006. That, though, would offer both the chance for constant football and the chance for a second extension to play one more season of top-flight football. Could the great legend, then, be heading back to Parma regardless?
Reports in Italy suggest that this is the preferred option, though there are options away from Italy as well. A season abroad, either in Europe or America, has been mooted as a potential option for the Italian. However, it is also likely that a chance to play one more season of regular Serie A football might be enticing for a goalkeeper who was once the finest in the world.
Where might Buffon arrive?
One of the most intriguing options that has been mentioned is a move to Napoli, who could be on the lookout for a new goalkeeper if they make a summer sale. As a historical Italian club and known for their fanatical fanbase, it might offer Buffon another year of regular football whilst still playing at an impressive level within the game. Parma, as mentioned above, is also an option.
Chief among the options that catches the eye, though, is FC Porto. Part of this, though, comes from a football fans ‘collector’ viewpoint; Porto would then be able to claim to have had both Buffon and Iker Casillas on their books. As the two keepers battled it out for close to a decade for best in the world supremacy, it would be an interesting note on the history books of an already storied football club.
Having only played in ten games for Juventus so far this season, it might see the veteran decide to move on and become a more regular choice elsewhere. There have been some options already suggested, with also some tentative links to a move to America, but it appears to be more likely that the former Italian international will see out his playing days in a European league.