Paris Saint-Germain have announced that veteran goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon will be leaving the club this summer after just one season in the French capital.
Buffon, who is now 41 years old, joined the French champions last summer after 17 trophy-laden years at Juventus, in what many saw as an attempt to finally lift the only major trophy that continued to elude him: the Champions League.
However, this was not to be, with the Parisiens crashing out in the round of 16 for the third season running to a resurgent Manchester United side.
Now, as revealed in an official statement on the club’s website, the Italian has agreed to leave Paris after the one-year deal he signed last summer expired.
The statement explained: “Following joint discussions, Paris Saint-Germain and Gianluigi Buffon have agreed to not renew the legendary goalkeeper’s contract which expires on 30 June 2019.”
After outlining his stats for the season – which included 25 appearances, nine clean sheets and two more trophies to add to the cabinet – the club admitted: “Paris Saint-Germain is honoured to have had the greatest goalkeeper in the history of football at the club, a 2006 World Cup winner with many individual awards since the start of his career. The club also wishes the unforgettable ‘Gigi’ the best in his personal projects that now await him.”
Speaking on his departure on Twitter, the club declared: “A gentleman on and off the pitch and an extraordinary teammate. We wish you the best for the future. Ciao e grazie per tutto, Gianlugi Buffon.”
The player himself proclaimed: “Thank you all for everything I have had the opportunity to experience in Paris. Thank you for the emotions that we have shared together. Twelve months ago, I arrived at Paris Saint-Germain filled with enthusiasm, welcomed by the incredible warmth of the fans. It was really moving. Thank you, once again, from the bottom of my heart.
“I leave happy to have enjoyed this experience which has undoubtedly helped me to grow. Today my adventure outside Italy comes to an end. I would like to thank the chairman Nasser Al-Khelaïfi, the whole club and my teammates. I wish you all the best, convinced that together you will write the pages of a wonderful story.”
To cap it off, and in a first (as far as I’m away) for player statements, he evoked a quote from Ernest Hemingway, explaining: “Ernest Hemingway wrote that there are only two places in the world where people can live happily: at home and in Paris. Today onwards, this will also apply to me: Paris, in some way, will always remain my home… Allez Paris! Thank you and good luck with everything!”