Tue 22 June 2021 | 19:01

Buffon admitted he rejected Champions League for Parma

The Parma shot-stopper revealed that he turned down ‘two opportunities to even win the Champions League’ to help Parma return to Serie A and he still hopes for a place at the 2022 World Cup.

Gianluigi Buffon

put pen to paper for a two-year contract with


and it will be announced soon. He departed


to return to the club he started at as a teenager.

I have many memories, above all the motivation and hope is to write a few more important pages in the history books of this club, and I know I can do it,”

Buffon told

Sky Sport Italia


“That is the main reason I returned here, along with the other 999 reasons! I felt such strong emotions, as an emotional reaction is the only way to keep delivering at this level at my age.

“I knew Parma would give me something that no other team could, so if I was already sure of my choice, I am even more convinced of it now.Seeing these places again make me feel like being back home. I need to feel happy, and Parma is a place that loves me just as I love them.”

The decision to go back to Parma entered Buffon’s mind when he chatted with President Kyle Klaus after Juventus’ clash with Parma in Serie A.

“It emerged day after day. It’s true I spoke to the President and his son after the game, but it was about other things. At the end, he asked if I wanted to come back to Parma. I replied that I’d already played in Serie B and didn’t need to do that again.

“However, when I got back to the locker room, I said to the Juventus directors that Parma were in good hands. I was glad that even if they were relegated, I was sure they’d return to Serie A rapidly and had a real project here.

“That put me in a good mood. I had other offers, some very nice ones certainly, but with the emotional bond and the feeling that I would work for a cause, the visceral connection with Parma made the difference.”

Reports also claimed that the 43-year-old attracted the attention of Barcelona to be their second goalkeeper after Marc-Andre ter Stegen. When asked if that was true, he added:

“I had two opportunities to even win the Champions League, but not as a protagonist. I had accepted the role of understudy at Juventus due to the strong bond and friendship I had with everyone there, but I didn’t particularly feel like doing that again for these final two years.

“People forget, but Parma are the fourth most successful club in Italy when it comes to winning European silverware. This is a side with a difficult present, but a glorious past and I believe a wonderful future to come.”

Buffon was quizzed whether he is aiming to play in the 2022 World Cup.

“There is an Italy project that is doing very well now, so I don’t want to disturb that in any way. The challenge that I set myself two or three years ago when Paris Saint-Germain arrived was to test myself. I am a dreamer and a very optimistic person, so of course playing in another World Cup would be a marvellous objective, but my aim is to reach June 2023 in good condition.”

source: SportMob

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