Legendary goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon should look back on his career with satisfaction and not brood on the last few months, according to former Sweden shot-stopper Thomas Ravelli.
Ravelli, who finished third at World Cup 94 in the USA and won 143 caps for his country during a career spanning 16 years, has tipped the veteran Italian to quit at the end of this season.
Having been controversially knocked out of the Champions League by Real Madrid at the quarter-final stage – and sent off, in addition – and eliminated from the World Cup before the finals, it is not the fairy-tale end many believe such an icon deserves.
However, Ravelli says that what has gone before it in Buffon’s career should make up for recent disappointments.
“Buffon was a little bit down on his luck this season,” he told Goal. “Italy didn't make it to the World Cup, then Juve didn't make it to the semi-finals of the Champions League. He’s had a tough couple of months. He was struggling.
“I think he is going to stop after this year. I don't know if it's sad for him to end like this, because he has won so much previously.
“I think he is happy with his performances during all these years and has been playing for so long. He has been one of the best goalkeepers during a lot of time so he should be satisfied.”
While Buffon won the World Cup in 2006, Champions League glory has eluded him throughout his career. He is currently chasing a ninth Serie A title, but his Juve side are only one point clear of Napoli after a 1-0 defeat to their rivals last weekend.