IFFHS AWARDS – THE WORLD’S BEST GOALKEEPER 2003, 2004, 2006, 2007, 2017 : Gianluigi BUFFON (Italy/FC Juventus)
Gianluigi “Gigi” Buffon, born 28 January 1978 in Carrara, is regarded as one of the greatest goalkeepers of all time. He was crowned 12 times Serie A Goalkeeper of the year , was named as the best FIFA Goalkeeper, UEFA Goalkeeper and the IFFHS honoured him 5 times as THE WORLD’S BEST GOALKEEPER 2003, 2004, 2006, 2007, 2017 and in 2012 as THE WORLD’S BEST GOALKEEPER of THE DECADE, of THE LAST 25 YEARS and of THE 21st CENTURY , becoming also the best Goalkeeper in the first IFFHS Men’s World Team 2017!
Buffon began his professional career in 1995 with Parma , where he played in the youth team since 1991. Quickly he was considered as a great talent in Parma and he played there 168 matches between 1995 and 2001, winning the Coppa Italia 1998/99, the Supercoppa Italiana 1999 and the UEFA Cup 1998/99. In 1999, he was honoured for the first time as Serie A best Goalkeeper !
He joined FC Juventus in 2001 to become one of the best goalkeepers in the World and to break all records ! He played for Juventus from 2001 to 2018, 509 Serie A matches and won 9 Serie A titles (2001/02, 2002/03, 2011/12, 2012/13, 2013/14, 2014/15, 2015/16, 2016/17, 2017/18), 1 Serie B title 2006/07, 4 Coppa Italia (2014/15, 2015/16, 2016/17, 2017/18), 5 Supercoppa Italiana (2002, 2003, 2012, 2013, 2015). He played for Juventus in this time 656 matches in total, 115 matches in UEFA Champions League (3 times runner-up !) and won the most titles with FC Juventus (19).
He was runner-up for the BALLON D’OR 2006, was named in the World XI, won the Golden Foot award, the UEFA and FIFA Awards , the Serie A Award 12 times and the IFFHS Award 5 times ! He holds the record for the most clean sheets in Serie A (10 consecutive in 2015/16, 21 in a single season 2011/12 and 2015/16) ,the History record in Serie A to be unbeaten for 974 consecutive minutes in 2015/16 and the most clean sheets in Serie A (293).
In 2018, Buffon signed one year with Paris Saint Germain at the age of 40. He immediately won the trophée des Champions and the Ligue 1 title 2018/19 with the French team, before returning in june this year to his CLUB, FC Juventus for a new season !
Gianluigi Buffon holds also the record of the most caps with Italy’s National team (176 between 1997 and 2018), the record as captain (80), the most clean sheets (77) ! He was World Champion in 2006 at the FIFA World Cup in Germany and he is one of the only 4 players with Lothar Matthaus, Antonio Carbajal and Rafael Marquez to take part in five World Cups (1998, 2002, 2006, 2010, 2014). He also represented Italy in 4 UEFA European Championships (runner-up in 2012 against Spain), 2 FIFA Confederations Cups ( third place in 2013) and the Olympics 1996. He won also the UEFA Championship U21 in 1996 with Italy.
Gianluigi Buffon is one of the only 25 players in the World to have made at least 1000 professional career appearances and is currently playing to continue to break new records with FC Juventus.