Juventus' legendary Italian shot-stopper, Gianluigi Buffon, has opened up this week about what his future holds, the successor to his crown and how he has struggled through a difficult battle with depression.
Following Tuesday night's 2-2 draw with Tottenham Hotspur, in which Buffon's performance came under fire despite a mesmerising point-blank save, the 40-year-old cautiously discussed his plans regarding retirement, according to CalcioMercato.
“I don’t want to create false expectations. The truth is that I have to meet with the President before the end of the season. We will meet, take stock of the situation and then make a final decision.”
Having already retired from the Italian national team, Buffon expressed regret about the timing of his stepping down after Italy failed to qualify for the 2018 World Cup.
"I wanted to finish my career at the World Cup as it would have been a fitting way to bow out of the game. I do feel however, that now I’m 40 I have to take stock, take a step back and consider my options.”
Considering options, the Juventus captain gave his opinion on who might fill his boots following his impending bow.
“At the moment Gianluigi Donnarumma is the name on everyone’s lips and he deserves the accolades. There are two or three other players, even younger than him, which I also believe have great potential.”
Buffon has always been open about his battle with depression and has described this as resulting from having to "make a transition; namely from being a boy to being a man".
He added: "You have to deal with situations that can lead you into a black-hole. The result of this can be depression. For someone like myself, who has an outgoing personality, it was very bad and it took me a while to realise how bad things were.”
Buffon's Juventus currently sit a close 2nd in Serie A and face 9th place Torino on Sunday.