A world cup and ten Serie A (potentially eleven) later, Gianluigi Buffon has won everything possible in both country and club level, except the two UEFA accolades.
There’s nothing more he could wish for. The Italian will go down as one of the best goalkeepers of all time – potentially the best. His consistent performances throughout his long playing career shows his sheer class. However, Italy’s failure to qualify for the 2018 World Cup will sting. Perhaps, undeservedly, but football doesn’t care about emotions.
With another World Cup appearance, Juventus goalkeeper would have been the first player in history to play in six World Cups. However, as fate has it, he will now watch the World Cup just like us in a television set.
The former Parma keeper shed tears in an emotionally cruel farewell in his own turf. But, at least he wasn’t the only one. Roma midfielder Daniele De Rossi joined him in a frantic exit and a shock result against Sweden.
Daniele De Rossi, like Buffon, was a part of Italy’s World Cup winning squad. But unlike the 39-year-old, he didn’t quite get to taste the same success in club level. But that doesn’t take away any impact the player had at the club level.
A one club man, De Rossi played a crucial role in Italy’s success in the past decade and his on-field persona energized the whole squad. A passer of highest magnitude, the Italian was one of the best midfielders in his prime and unfortunately, one of the best players to have never won Serie A so far.
As for his compatriot and captain, Giangluigi Buffon, the failure to drag his side to the finishing line will surely pinch hard. But, the sheer amount of accolades he won, over the years, will surely help him sleep well for the rest of his life.