|Italy’s goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon (left), Italy’s forward Lorenzo Insigne (centre) and Italy’s forward Andrea Belotti wave at the end of the FIFA World Cup 2018 qualification football match between Italy and Liechtenstein at the Dacia Arena Stadium in Udine, on June 11. — AFP Photo|
MILAN — Juventus and Italy goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon reaffirmed he is "99.9 %" sure of retiring at the end of next season -- unless he finally ends his quest to win the Champions League.
"Yes, I’m 99.9 % sure that’s how it will go," said Buffon when asked by Sky Sport if he would keep to an earlier promise to hang up his gloves at the end of the 2017-18 campaign.
"I will have one final, intense season full of key dates, then it will be time to call it a day."
Buffon, a World Cup winner with Italy in 2006, had previously said next season would be his last, although he is not expected to fully retire until after the 2018 World Cup in Russia -- if Italy qualify.
But the 39-year-old left a tiny chance of going back on his decision, after losing the 2017 Champions League final to Real Madrid (4-1) and the 2015 edition to Barcelona (3-1).
"If we win the Champions League I will continue to play one more season so I can also try to win the World Club Cup and other trophies," he added. — AFP