Buffon set to celebrate 1,000th appearance of his career

Buffon set to celebrate 1,000th appearance of his career

The already incredible story of Gianluigi Buffon will hit another high this weekend when the goalkeeper makes the 1,000th appearance of his career.

On Friday, the Juventus stalwart will celebrate that milestone when he takes to the field for his country against Albania.

In doing so, it will be a double celebration for Buffon who will surpass Iker Casillas by collecting the most amount of caps for any European player by reaching 167 appearances for his country.

Buffon’s CV is an impressive one. He has featured in five World Cups, beginning in 1998 and looks certain to play in six if the Azzurri reach Russia in 2018, as they seem set to do.

It doesn’t end there either. No goalkeeper in Serie A history has had a longer streak without conceding a goal when he surpassed Sebastiano Rossi’s record to go 973 consecutive minutes without being beaten.

He also surpassed Dino Zoff en route to that record, another Juventus legend between the posts, who managed 70 minutes less than the current Bianconeri captain.

Buffon first featured in Serie A as a teenager with Parma, playing against AC Milan on November 19, 1995.

“I told him just to quietly go about his business and focus on the game,” said Nevio Scala’s goalkeeping coach Ermes Fulgoni, who was confident in the 17-year-old’s ability despite coming up against a Milan side featuring attacking talents like George Weah, Zvonimir Boban and Roberto Baggio.

“When they announced the line-up in the stadium over the public address system, I told the people who were around me, ‘don’t worry, we aren’t going to concede any goals today’.”

That proved to be the case as the game ended 0-0 and Buffon started his career with a clean sheet, which would soon become a regular occurrence.

He enjoyed a successful time of it with Parma, winning a UEFA Cup before departing to join Juventus in 2001, and he surely couldn’t have imagined that 16 years later he would still be setting records in Turin.

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