Buffon matches Maldini's Serie A appearance record, passes Del Piero's Juventus mark
Juventus goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon matched Paolo Maldini’s Serie A appearance record after he was selected to play a 647th top-flight game in Wednesday's match against Sampdoria.
The veteran former Italy number one kept his place, with the injured Wojciech Szczesny ruled out of the line-up at Stadio Luigi Ferraris.
Buffon, who began his career at Parma, also took an outright club record as he passed Alessandro Del Piero's mark of 478 Serie A appearances, playing his 479th game in the division for the Bianconeri.
The 41-year-old was an Italy team-mate of former Milan defender Maldini, who retired in 2009 at the age of 40, and played for many years for club and country with Del Piero.
Buffon's Serie A debut came for Parma in 1995 when he shut out Milan in a 0-0 draw against the team that would go on to win the title.
He went on to join Juve in 2001 in a £32.6million deal, making him the world’s most expensive goalkeeper.
It proved to be money well invested as he spent 17 years in a first spell with the Turin giants, staying at the club following relegation amid Italian football's Calciopoli scandal and helping Juventus reel off seven successive Scudetti before leaving for Paris Saint-Germain in 2018.
After a year in France, Buffon returned to Juventus in July, since when he has competed with Szczesny for the starting role in Maurizio Sarri’s team.
There was another milestone within reach in Genoa as Sarri attempted to achieve his 100th victory as a head coach in Serie A, in what was his 169th match.
Among coaches who made their debut in Serie A from 1994-95 onwards, no manager has accumulated 100 wins before their 185th game, which was the point at which Carlo Ancelotti brought up his century of victories.