Gianluigi Buffon received a standing ovation as he left the field for the last time for Juventus in Saturday’s 2-1 win over Hellas Verona.
The result against their already-relegated opponents mattered little, as the club bid an emotional farewell to their beloved goalkeeper, while also celebrating a record-extending seventh successive Serie A trophy.
Buffon revealed earlier in the week that he would be leaving the Serie A champions after 17 years with the club.
The 40-year-old retired from national team duty in November when Italy failed to qualify for the World Cup. He was expected to announce his retirement from club football as well, in his press conference on Thursday, but left open the door to continue playing away from his beloved Juve.
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Goals from Daniele Rugani (49′) and Mirelem Pjanic (52′) sealed all three points this weekend, with only Alessio Cerci (76′) on target for Verona.
Buffon was replaced by Carlo Pinsoglio in the 63rd minute at the Allianz Stadium as Juventus head coach Massimiliano Allegri allowed his long-standing keeper a memorable and emotional send off.
Shortly after leaving the pitch, Buffon made a lap around the field, saying his goodbyes and thanking the fans.
After winning the Coppa Italia, Supercoppa Italiana and UEFA Cup with Parma, Buffon went on to claim 11 Serie A titles, four Coppa Italia’s and five Supercoppa Italiana’s with Juve, while also winning the World Cup in 2006 with Italy.
Stephan Lichtsteiner, who is also expected to be on his way out of the club, saw his 85th minute penalty expertly saved. He also left the field to ovation from the fans, albeit with a minor knock.