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Buffon: I thank life for not letting me win the Champions League

11:59 BST 29/09/2019
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Despite a long list of personal and team honours, the legendary goalkeeper has never lifted the famous trophy

Gianluigi Buffon says he 'thanks life' for not letting him win the Champions League, and believes his failure to win the competition has allowed him to continue playing football.

The Juventus goalkeeper has an lengthy list of both personal and team honours to his name, yet the Champions League trophy remains elusive for the 41-year-old.

The Italian has won nine Serie A titles with Juve, and has clinched the Coppa Italia five times, including once with former club Parma.

Buffon also won a Ligue 1 title with Paris Saint-Germain last season in his only campaign outside of Italy, having also helped his country to the 2006 World Cup.

Europe’s most prestigious club trophy, however, has yet to fall into his hands, but the goalkeeper views the failure to lift the coveted prize as a positive.

"For me it's a huge stimulus and I have to thank life for not letting me win [the Champions League] yet, otherwise I would ask myself why I still play,” said Buffon.

“It is great to be still in the running and try again, but there is no agreement on playing at least one game in Europe in the season, we are at Juventus and not in an amateur club, I play when I am called in by the coach.”

The Juventus legend has, however, come close on three occasions, losing the 2003 final on penalties to Serie A rivals AC Milan, before falling to Spanish giants Barcelona and Real Madrid in the 2015 and 2017 finals, respectively.

He joins a long list of fellow football legends to have never lifted the famous trophy, including the likes of Ronaldo, Gabriel Batistuta and Lothar Matthaus among many others.

The Old Lady last won the competition in 1996, and have started this season’s competition with a 2-2 draw at Atletico Madrid in arguably their toughest fixture of the group.

And while Buffon remained on the bench for the match at Wanda Metropolitano, he has been used in the league campaign, where he broke Paolo Maldini’s record for the most club appearances by an Italian player of all-time in the latest victory over SPAL.

Unlike Maldini, who spent his entire career with AC Milan, the veteran goalkeeper’s appearances have been spread out across three clubs, having played over 200 matches for Parma before a brief spell with PSG last term.