Sports Nicknames - Gigi

Gianluigi Buffon. The man affectionately called "Gigi" by nearly all Italians has led a career that has firmly planted himself as one of the greatest goalkeepers of all time, if not the greatest. He has had a career that spanned 3 decades, making over 1,000 professional appearances in that time.

The legendary Italian goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon - Profile drawing - Illustration - Art. -  Juventus FC icon.

His career began at Parma as a youth player. However, Gigi quickly broke through and was named as the starting keeper in 1996. He acquired another nickname by Parma fans after stopping a penalty from Ballon d'Or striker Ronaldo. He won the UEFA Cup and a Coppa Italia with Parma, leading to a world record fee (for a goalkeeper) being paid by Juventus.

At Juventus Buffon would reach his peak. He spent the next 17 seasons at the club, helping them win 10 Serie A titles (in addition to the 2 that were stripped due to the Calciopoli scandal) and 4 Coppa Italias. Despite reaching the UEFA Champions League Final 3 times, he's never managed to win the competition.

However, his success with Italy must be mentioned. While the only trophy he won with Italy was the 2006 World Cup (as though that's not enough), Buffon has made 176 appearances for the Italian national team - the most of any player. He has also made the most Italian appearances as captain, having taken the role in 2010.

Gigi left Juve for a season in Paris, where he helped Paris Saint-Germain to a Ligue 1 title before he returned to Juventus, mostly as a backup to Wojciech Szczesny.

Buffon has played at such a high level for such a long time, he has to go down as one of the best of all time. His consistently brilliant performances for over 25 years make him one of the favourites on a list of the best, even against other legends like Iker Casillas and Manuel Neuer.


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