Written by Antony Jackson
The professional Italian footballer Gianluigi Buffon has had a pretty adventurous career full of a lot of action. He is a goalkeeper and also the captain of his team, Juventus, and is known as one of the best goalkeepers in the world. And despite his amazing career people still don’t know much about his past nor about some of the controversies he has been part of during the last couple of years.
World’s best goalkeeper was born in Carrara, Italy, on January 28, 1978, into a family of national-level athletes. His father, Adriano, was a weightlifter, while his mother, Maria, was a discus thrower. Buffon grew up among two sisters, who were also inclined toward sports since childhood. And his parents played a great part in Buffon’s life as they were his main motivation and inspiration. And with his athletic genes, the now-footballer hit the field at the age of 5.
Initially, Gianluigi couldn’t choose which sport he wanted to focus on and now we can confidently say that he made the right decision by choosing football. The biggest turning point of his career came in the year 1992 when he joined ‘Parma F.C.’ for their youth system. For the next few years, he showed excellent sportsmanship and mesmerized everyone with his electric performance as a goalkeeper. After being with the club for a few years, he finally joined them as a senior in 1995 and played a major role in Parma qualifying for the ‘UEFA U-21 Championship’ in the same year. And later, he was signed on by ‘Juventus FC’ in 2001 for 45 million dollars, which was a new record, as far as goalkeepers were concerned.
In the year 2006, he faced a major setback in his career, due to betting charges, in the scandal which is infamously known as the ‘Calciopoli Scandal.’ This controversy threatened to halt his superbly growing career, and his performances too faltered during this time. The scandal was surrounding the athlete’s love for betting and gambling in general. Throughout his adult life, Gianluigi has always been a big fan of online gambling for real money, and the only thing that he loved more than that was betting, which is what got him in trouble. But later he was cleared of all charges and ‘Juventus’ decided to retain him. And late, he went on to lead his team for the 2006 ‘FIFA World Cup.’
The footballer definitely earned his title though with a lot of hard work and years of training. He has also been named the ‘World’s Best Goalkeeper’ by the ‘IFFHS’ for a record of 5 times and he has also been regarded as the greatest goalkeeper of the 21st century by the same organization. In 2016 he also had the honor of getting the ‘Golden Foot Award’ which is a very rare thing for goalkeepers.
He also served as the captain of the Italian national football team until his retirement in 2017. As one of the world’s most famous footballers, Buffon has played more than 1000 games and within those games, there are 170 international outings. He is especially appreciated by his teammates for his leadership skills and the fact that he is a great motivator for the players.
In 2005, Buffon met Alena Seredova, a supermodel from the Czech Republic. They quickly started dating and got engaged and later went on to get married in 2011. They had a son in 2007 and another one in 2009 but unfortunately, the couple got divorced in 2014. But after his divorce, the footballers started dating the Tv presenter Ilaria D’Amico and the couple announced their engagement in 2017.