“every year, Paris leaves to win” the C1, believes Buffon (to AFP)

“every year, Paris leaves to win” the C1, believes Buffon (to AFP)

Paris SG have the team to win the Champions League, Italian goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon told AFP, who remembers his short spell at the club as one of his “greatest experiences as a footballer and as a man”.

At 44, the 2006 world champion continues to stretch his immense career in Parma, in Serie B, without yet uttering the word retirement: “These last years, for me, have been pure pleasure”.

Question: Juventus – Paris-SG on Wednesday, who would you have liked to play it with?

Answer: “La Juve, I spent my life there, there is inevitably a strong bond, built with everything we lived together for twenty years (2001-2021). But I also keep a special memory of Paris (2018-19 season), my teammates, the supporters. It was one of the most beautiful experiences of my life as a footballer and as a man. What is unfortunate is that this game does not will not count that much (Juve is eliminated, PSG already qualified, editor’s note).

Q: Is it finally the right season for PSG in the Champions League?

A: “I can’t say! Every year, it seems to be the right one. Paris, in the last seven or eight seasons, has always had a team that could have won. But to succeed there, there is details, which sometimes also depend on luck. But every year Paris sets out to win”.

Q: Gianluigi Donnarumma seems calmer since starting at PSG. Was it the right decision of the club?

A: “He is progressing very well, with a very good goalkeeper coach who will help him grow. Being a starter gives you greater strength, not feeling under scrutiny in every game. Even if the one who suffers from it, it’s is Keylor (Navas, editor’s note), who is also a very great goalkeeper, I’m sorry to see him still on the bench”.

Q: Are you worried about Juventus?

A: “It’s been a very difficult season and major injuries have complicated things. Knowing football, I think you can’t understand what the problem can be and what the solution can be without living in the dressing room and without know the dynamics between the coach, the players”.

Q: You are currently injured (thigh). When do we see you again with Parma?

A: “It saddens me, it’s a pain. But with age, you understand that you can help the team also off the pitch. At the beginning of the year, I will be there, before it’s not It’s important not to take any risks, so that we can continue until the end of the season”.

Q: With Parma returning to Serie A next season?

A: “We can’t say… Last year, expectations were huge, we thought we’d return to Serie A immediately. But it was a big disappointment, we found ourselves facing difficulties that we weren’t unprepared. This season, we have adopted a low profile and the results are better (6th in Serie B, editor’s note). President Kyle Krause (the American entrepreneur who has been the owner for two years, editor’s note) brings us a lot of serenity, we know that Parma will play the leading roles in the future. As for the sporting director (the Frenchman Julien Fournier, who arrived recently), he seems to have clear ideas and to be a man of decision, that’s important”.

Q: Four 2006 world champions (Cannavaro, Inzaghi, De Rossi, Grosso) are now training in Serie B, is that destabilizing?

A: “Yes, it’s strange. According to a certain logic, maybe I too should be on a bench. That’s the beauty of life, living without imposing limits. I followed my passion and what the field told me. I want to have fun until the end by looking for adventure and meaningful projects. For me, Parma (his training club, editor’s note), even in Serie B, had sense”.

Q: How long do you see yourself making these sacrifices?

A: “It’s not sacrifice. The last few years in particular, for me, have been pure pleasure. Young people help you stay young and keep your mental energy high. Afterwards, it’s clear that it’s You have to be at the level. With the pride that is mine, I will never agree to average performances”.

Q: No time to think about the sequel yet?

A: “The aftermath, I’ve been thinking about it for ten years. But as long as I have the current energy and ambitions, I continue. Then there will be what the body says. If for example I were to injure myself again, I could eventually take note that my body is sending me signals and that I have to accept them”.

Interview by Anthony LUCAS