Gianluigi Gigi Buffon (January 28, 1978) is a professional footballer from Italy who currently plays as a goalkeeper for Juventus F.C. Pundits today recognize Gianluigi Buffon as the best goalkeeper in the world, but as he continues to advance in age, the abilities of Bufton seems to be getting even better. Despite advanced age compared to other goalkeepers, Buffon has shown that he is a man clearly cut to be his team’s last line of defence. We take a look at the rise of the Italian ace Superman from the streets of Tuscany to the centre stage of world football in our Gianluigi Buffon biography facts, childhood, career, net worth and personal life.
The Italian man has seen a lot of action in his career that has span over two decades, and he brings the experience he has accumulated in this period to the field. No doubt, his wealth of experience and his exceptional goalkeeping abilities makes him a highly respected figure on and off the field.
Gianluigi Buffon Biography Facts, Age, Quick Info
|Full Name:||Gianluigi Gigi Buffon|
|Born:||January 28, 1978 (age 44 years)|
|Place of Birth:||Carrara, Tuscany, Italy|
|Occupation:||Football (Soccer) Player|
|Current Team:||Juventus F.C.|
|Height:||6 ft 4 in|
|Parents:||Adriano Buffon (father);|
Maria Stella Buffon (mother)
|Siblings:||Guendalina Buffon (Sister);|
Veronica Buffon (Sister)
|Partner / Spouse:||Ilaria D’Amico|
|Children:||David Lee Buffon; |
Louis Thomas Buffon;
Leopoldo Mattia Buffon
|Net Worth:||$20 million USD|
Gianluigi Buffon Childhood/Early Life & Family Background
Gianluigi Gigi Buffon was born on January 28, 1978, into a family who loved sports. His father, Adriano Buffon, was a weight lifter while his mother, Maria Stella Buffon, was a disco thrower, they both played at National level.
His parents supported him when he began participating in sports when he was 5 years old. After retiring from professional weight lifting, his father became a physical education teacher and thus trained young Buffon to become a world-class athlete. Though he struggled with the sports to choose, he settled for football and played as a midfielder. During his teenage years, Buffon switched position to striking. Buffon eventually settled for goalkeeping as a result of the exploits of his football star, ex-Cameroon goalkeeper, Thomas N’Kono in the 1992 World Cup.
In 1992, young Buffon joined Parma F.C. youth team and dazzled everyone with his creative and excellent goalkeeping abilities.
Gianluigi Buffon Professional Football Career & Accomplishments
Parma F.C. (1995–2001)
After switching to the goalkeeping position, Buffon was called to step in as Parma F C youth team goalkeeper after the team’s goalkeeper suffered injury. He went on to put on an incredible performance which earned him a promotion to the team’s first choice goalkeeping position.
At the age of 17, Buffon was promoted to the Parma first team where he featured in games against world-class players such as Ronaldo, George Weah and Roberto Baggio. In these encounters, Buffon made a mark by making impressive saves. In his second season with Parma, he was made the first team, the first-choice goalkeeper and thus he became a force in the goalkeeping world. His third season saw him make remarkable saves which earned him the nickname, the ‘Superman‘. In his fourth season at Parma, he helped his side win the UEFA Cup and thus won the Serie A Goalkeeper of the Year Award, as well as a Ballon d’Or nomination. He went on to win the Serie A Goalkeeper of the Year Award before he was transferred to Juventus for about €52 million in 2001.
After arriving at Juventus, Buffon was given the number #1 jersey and proved to be a foreman in the team. In his first four seasons at Juventus, He won the UEFA Club Footballer of the Year, the UEFA Best Goalkeeper award, the IFFHS World’s Best Goalkeeper on two occasions. He was named to the UEFA Team of the Year on two occasions and was nominated for the FIFA World Best Player Award.
Through 2004 – 2006, Buffon played incredibly well especially at the World Cup and his performance at the World Cup earned him second place in the Ballon d’Or and ranked him eighth in the UEFA Team of the Year.
Following Juventus involvement in a betting scandal, the team was stripped of two of its Serie A title and was relegated to Serie B. Rumours emerged that as a result, Buffon may leave the club, but he chose to stay and that made him very popular among the elated fans.
Through 2006-2011, Buffon continued to mesmerize fans with his excellent aerial saves and thus earned him several awards which include the Serie A Goalkeeper of the year award, IFFHS Goalkeeper of the Decade and nominations for the World Best Footballer. He also came down with injuries during this period.
Following the arrival of a new coach at Juventus, Buffon’s performance improved, but he saw tight competition from Bayern Munich goalkeeper, Manuel Neuer and Iker Casillas for the IFFHS Goalkeeper of the Year award. He was named goalkeeper of the Century by the IFFHS and earned several nominations for the FIFA Best Player of the Year award.
In 2017, after winning the Best FIFA Goalkeeper award and finishing third in the UEFA Best Men Player of the Year and earning a place in the UEFA Team of the Year, he signed a one year contract with the French side, PSG.
Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) (2018–2019)
At PSG, Buffon debuted for the club at the Trophée des Champions in 2018. Buffon alongside the attacking genius of the team made it an easy win. He went on to make his 121 champions league appearance with the club and then finished the season as Ligue 1 champions, before returning to Juventus.
In July 2019, he signed a one year contract with Juventus. He was given the captaincy and Number 1 jersey but he rejected both opting to wear the number 77 jersey.
Gianluigi Buffon International Career
Buffon has had a rich international career since he was a youth. He played for Italy at the European U-16 championship in 1993, and the FIFA U-17 World Championship in 1993. He also played at the UEFA European Under-21 Championship in 1996.
Buffon played for the first time in the World cup in 2002 and in the Euros in 2004. His second World Cup, the 2006 World Cup saw his side, Italy emerge World Champions. Buffon also played at the 2008 Euros, the 2009 Confederation Cup, the 2010 World Cup, the 2012 Euros, the 2013 Confederation Cup, the 2014 World Cup, and the Euro 2016.
After Italy failed to qualify for the 2018 World Cup, Buffon hinted that he will retire. After playing a couple of international friendlies, he finally retired in May 2018.
Gianluigi Buffon Net Worth & Endorsements
Buffon has a net worth that totals $20 million USD. He has lots of luxury cars which is said to cost about $1 million USD. Buffon has been sponsored through his career by Puma. He also has an endorsement deal with PokerStars. He owns his own wine company, Buffon #1.
Gianluigi Buffon Personal Life, Relationship
Buffon was married to Alena Šeredová in 2011, after 6 years of being together. He got divorced from his wife in 2014. They had two children together, Louis Thomas and David Lee.
He got engaged to Ilaria D’Amico in 2017 after their son, Mattia was born in 2016.
Buffon has revealed that he had depression during the early days of his career at Juventus.
Buffon got in hot water in 2002, after he falsified a high school diploma in order to study law at the University of Parma. He was fined for his offence which he describes as the biggest regret of his life.
Buffon currently serves as a UN Goodwill Ambassador for the World Food Programme.
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