Gianluigi Buffon to retire unless Juventus win Champions League

Italy and Juventus goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon will retire at the end of the season unless his club win the Champions League.

The 39-year-old hopes to play in next summer’s World Cup and would extend his career for the Club World Cup if Juventus won Europe’s elite trophy.

The Serie A side have been beaten in the Champions League final twice in the past three years.

“This is my last season and I’m pretty sure of the choices I make,” he said.

“One or two more years wouldn’t add or take away from what I’ve already achieved.

“The only way would be to win the Champions League. At that point, to try to win the Club World Cup, maybe (Wojciech) Szczesny could play one game and me another.

“But I think with a goalkeeper like him behind it is normal that next year I’ll stand aside,” he told Sky Italia.

Buffon, who began his career at Parma before joining Juventus for £23m in 2001, was named goalkeeper of the year at Fifa’s The Best awards on Monday.

He won the World Cup in 2006 and has also claimed eight Serie A titles, four Italian Cups and a Uefa Cup, but has never won the Champions League.

Italy’s place at next summer’s World Cup is not guaranteed, as they face Sweden in a two-legged play-off to qualify in November.

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