Gianluigi Buffon, the former Juventus and Paris Saint-Germain goalkeeper, has revealed that he turned down an offer from Barcelona in order to join his boyhood club Parma.
During his Parma debut, Buffon said that he had two enormous offers from Barcelona but refused to be a backup goalkeeper at the club.
“I received two substantial offers, but I didn’t want to be a stand-in again. I was sick of being the backup plan. I did it at Juventus because of my connection to the club, but to be honest, I didn’t want to do it again, not after the previous two years.”
Buffon also revealed that apart from Barcelona, he had offers from other Champions League clubs. But instead, he decided to return to his boyhood club Parma because of the emotional attachment he has with the club.
Buffon said I had other interesting offers, even from teams in the Champions League, but the emotional implication with Parma made my mind up. That emotion is the only way to keep playing at a high level. I knew Parma could give me something no other team would. I am happy with the affection shown to me. I feel at home. I love it here.”
Buffon returns to Parma after 20 years having left the clubfor Juventus in 2001. The Italian legend has signed a two-year deal with Parma and will play in Serie B.
Buffon on turning down Barcelona's offer: "I didn't want to be No.2" https://t.co/vpHXuU67UP— SPORT English (@Sport_EN) June 23, 2021
Barcelona need a backup goalkeeper to Marc-Andre ter Stegen
Barcelona are in a goalkeeping crisis at the moment. Marc-Andre ter Stegen is their first-choice goalkeeper. However, the Catalans lack a proper backup shot-stopper to support the German international.
Barcelona’s current number two is Brazilian Neto. However, the 31-year-old has an uncertain future at the Nou Camp.
Due to Barcelona’s bleak financial situation, the club is looking to sell some of their fringe players in order to free up their wage bill, with Neto being one who is on the cusp of an exit.
But Buffon wouldn’t have been an ideal backup to ter Stegen. The Italian legend is currently 43 years old and hasn’t played regular first-team football in nearly four seasons.