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Gianluigi Buffon: Ending Career by Playing With Cristiano Ronaldo is a 'Splendid Gift'

Gianluigi Buffon has thanked Juventus for the opportunity to play, in the twilight of his career as a player, with Portuguese superstar Cristiano Ronaldo.

"It's beautiful,” he said of meeting with Ronaldo in Juventus. “At the end of my career I was able to play with Neymar and [Kylian] Mbappe thanks to Paris Saint-Germain, now it will happen with Cristiano Ronaldo thanks to Juventus,” he told journalists.

"I think that for players with my experience and with my history, to be able to end the career in such a way is a splendid gift."

Gianluigi Buffon, 41, has reunited with Serie A giants Juventus following a one-year-spell at French champions PSG. Prior to that, he spent 17 years in Turin, which saw him become one of the club’s legends and one of the few players that stayed at Juventus and helped the club restore its reputation and greatness after the 2006 corruption scandal.

Buffon made a stunning 656 appearances in all games for Juve, trailing behind only another icon, Alessandro del Piero, who played 705 games. The goalkeeper also wore the captain’s armband since 2012, when del Piero left the club.

He recently re-joined Juventus on a one-year contract and is widely expected to spend his second term there as No.2 for Wojciech Szczesny.

However, he revealed that Szczesny and Giorgio Chiellini had offered him the No.1 jersey and the captain's armband – but it appears that Buffon turned down the offer.

"I am here to contribute as I have always done, not to take anything away from someone. The first-choice goalkeeper of Juve must have the number one and Giorgio, who is my brother, must be captain,” Buffon said, adding that he opted for number 77, which he had in Parma before moving to Juventus.

Cristiano Ronaldo joined the Serie A champions last year, after nine trophy-laden years with Real Madrid. Many considered him to be the signing that may bring the coveted Champions League cup back to Turin, 23 years after Juventus last lifted the trophy.

However, the two goals that Ronaldo scored in the CL quarterfinals this year were not enough to advance past Ajax, while Buffon and PSG crashed out of the tournament in the last 16 following a last-gasp defeat to Manchester United.

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