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Gianluigi Buffon

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Biography

1 Senior club appearances and goalscounted for the domestic league only andcorrect as of 2007-06-10.2 National team caps and goals correctas of September 12, 2007.* Appearances (Goals)

Gianluigi "Gigi" Buffon, Cavaliere Ufficiale OMRI, (born January 28, 1978 in Carrara) is an Italian FIFA World Cup-winning goalkeeper who currently plays for Italian Serie A club Juventus F.C. and the Italian national team.

Gianluigi Buffon was born into an athletic family: his mother Maria Stella was a discus thrower, his father Adriano a weightlifter, his two sisters Veronica and Guendalina volleyball players, and his uncle Angelo Masocco a basketball player. He is also a nephew of goalkeeping legend Lorenzo Buffon (a cousin of Gianluigi's grandfather). Buffon is engaged to Czech model Alena Seredova; the couple are expecting a son in February of 2008.

In 1995, at the age of 17, Buffon was signed by Parma A.C. and made his Serie A debut against A.C. Milan, and won the UEFA Cup in 1999. He transferred from Parma to Juventus F.C. in 2001, for a world-record goalkeeper's fee of around £32 million. In 2003, he received the UEFA Most Valuable Player and Best Goalkeeper awards, and was named by Pelé as one of the top 125 greatest living footballers in March 2004. During the annual Luigi Berlusconi Trophy match against Milan in August 2005, Buffon collided with Milan midfielder Kaká while chasing a loose ball, and suffered a dislocated shoulder that required surgery. His operation was successful and he returned to the pitch in November, but played only once as another injury returned him to the sidelines until January. He recovered in time to help lead Juventus to their second consecutive Scudetto and his fourth overall with the club.

On May 12, 2006, Buffon, along with former Juventus goalkeeper Antonio Chimenti and many other players, were implicated as participants in illegal betting on Serie A matches while with Parma. The following day, he voluntarily allowed himself to be questioned by Turin magistrates in an attempt to clear his name. While admitting that he did bet on sports (until regulations went into effect in late 2005, banning players from doing so), he vehemently denied placing wagers on Italian football matches. Fears arose that he had jeopardized his chance of playing in the 2006 FIFA World Cup, but he was officially named Italy's starting goalkeeper on May 15. The players were cleared of all charges by the FIGC on June 27, 2007.

Buffon was awarded his first cap for Italy when he was only 19 years old, as an injury replacement for Gianluca Pagliuca during a 1998 FIFA World Cup play-off against Russia. He was called up for the 1998 World Cup finals, but did not play a single game as Pagliuca remained first choice. He was a member of the Italy squad at the 1996 Summer Olympics, the 2002 World Cup and Euro 2004.



 


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