- Buffon told that Areola would start in Champions League
- Left after refusing to be second choice
- Felt 'satisfied' to be living in Paris
WHAT HAPPENED? PSG informed Buffon in March 2019 that he would not start the following season's Champions League campaign, but he would not accept playing second fiddle to current West Ham shot-stopper Alphonse Areola. The Italian declined a new contract because of the disagreement, which he has now admitted was a massive mistake.
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WHAT THEY SAID: "My experience in Paris was the best of my life. I must say that leaving was probably the biggest mistake of my career. Why? They told me, ‘Gigi, we are very happy, but you will not start as a starter in the Champions League. Areola will play.'" Buffon revealed to Bobo TV.
"I stopped and said to myself, this is not right. I was talking about a matter of respect, you can't come for Buffon in March and say you don't play next year. What the f*ck game is this? This is not sport."
The Italian also remarked on the day-to-day life in Paris: "I felt at the center of the world. Within two months I spoke French, I talked to people on the street. Beyond a professional of the highest level, I felt like a man satisfied, it was the most beautiful experience. Even today my children ask me why we left Paris."
THE BIGGER PICTURE: Buffon made 25 appearances in all competitions before leaving PSG to return to Juventus ahead of the 2019-20 season. The Parisians signed Keylor Navas that summer, and he became the club's first-choice keeper.
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WHAT NEXT? Buffon is still playing on at the ripe old age of 45, serving as a regular between the sticks for Serie B's Parma, having made a return to his boyhood club in July 2021.