Famous Football Player: Gianluigi Buffon (Italy)
Since beginning his career at the ripe old age of 13, Gianluigi Buffon has steadily climbed the ranks of the “who’s who” among great goalkeepers. From his professional career with the Italian club Juventus to being an integral part of the Italian National Team, Buffon has consistently come through for his teammates, saving goals and saving games, keeping their chances alive.
He has been called the “best Italian goalkeeper ever.” Some refer to him as the greatest goalie in the game today. Soccer super-great, Pele event stated that Gianluigi Buffon was one of the greatest living footballers in the world. As for Buffon, he prefers to make his statement on the field and in front of the goal.
Perhaps the highlight of Buffon’s career, to date, came during the 2006 FIFA World Cup when he allowed just two goals and managed to keep five sheets clean. This was in addition to managing an almost unbelievable 453 scoreless minutes of play. Buffon received the Yashon award for contributions in the series.
While the are almost too numerous to mention, some of Buffon’s more outstanding personal career accomplishments include:
• Best Goalkeeper (IFFHS) 2003, 2004, 2006 and 2007
• European Silver Ball (Footballer of the Year) 2006
• Champion’s League MVP (2003)
• Goalkeeper of the Year (series A) 1999 through 2006 and 2008
• Team of The Year (UEFA) 2003, 2004 and 2006
Buffon’s career has not been a smooth one. He has had a few rocky moments, as do most professional players, due to injuries. Also, in 2006, he and a few of his fellow teammates were implicated a betting scheme. Eventually all of the players were cleared. Still, for a while his career with Juventus was on shaky ground, but after his 2006 World Cup performance, they elected to give him another shot. His current contract won’t expire until 2012.