Buffon: I nearly joined Barcelona

The experienced goalkeeper claims he spurned the chance to join the Blaugrana in 2001 in favour of remaining in Serie A with Juventus

Juventus goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon has revealed that he turned down the chance to join Barcelona in 2001.

The Italy international was one of the most sought after shot-stoppers around at the time after a number of impressive seasons with Parma and the Blaugrana were keen to lure him to La Liga.

The Catalans even made an offer for the Italy international, but Buffon ultimately opted to remain in Serie A by joining Juventus – a decision he is adamant he does not regret.

“I could have joined Barcelona in 2001,” Buffon told Mediaset.

“However, I decided to join Juventus after discussing it with my father and I’m still grateful for it. Being at Juventus is a unique experience and has brought me a lot of satisfaction.

“And let’s not forget that Barcelona back then were nothing like the team they are now.”

The 35-year-old admitted he was thrilled to sign a new contract with the Turin giants earlier this year and is determined to continue playing at the highest level for as long as possible.

“My contract renewal was another milestone for me. I could have gone to Eastern Europe for a lot of money, but I opted to stay at Juventus.

“I want to keep on playing for many more years and I want to keep on surprising people.” 

Buffon, who surpassed Fabio Cannavaro’s record of 136 international caps for Italy last Friday against Denmark, signed a deal to stay at Juventus until 2015.