Life at 40! Buffon celebrates injury return, birthday with penalty save

Gianluigi Buffon Andrea Barzagli Atalanta Juventus Coppa Italia
Days after turning 40, the Italy legend made his comeback from a near two-month injury layoff and stopped a penalty

It was like Gianluigi Buffon had not missed any time at all.

The Italy legend returned for Juventus on Tuesday for their Coppa Italia semi-final first leg away to Atalanta after missing nearly two months with a calf injury. And he did so in fine form, saving a penalty in a 1-0 Juventus win.

Buffon had not played since 1-0 win over Napoli on December 1 thanks to the injury.

During his injury layoff, the Juventus legend celebrated a birthday, turning 40 on January 28.

He marked his return and birthday with a 25th minute save of Alejandro Gomez, diving to his left to keep out the attempt. The stop saved blushes for Medhi Benatia, who was deemed to have handled the ball in the area following a video review.

Buffon was not needed much in the contest after that stop, but he came up big late to deny Atalanta an equalizer with minutes remaining in the game.

It was the 20th penalty save Buffon has made for Juventus since his arrival in 2001 from Parma.

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However, interestingly enough, it was actually the first time Buffon had saved a penalty in the Coppa Italia excluding extra time and penalty shoot-outs.

Buffon and Juventus, who are a point off Napoli at the Serie A summit, will return to league action on Sunday at home against Sassuolo.

The second leg against Atalanta will take place February 27.