Buffon: Playing football was my redemption, happy to be close to Spalletti

The former goalkeeper of Juventus, Parma and Italy, Gianluigi Buffon, has commented on a range of topics, from the use of algorithms in football, to his retirement, and Juventus’ title prospects in an interview with Tuttosport.

Speaking on the increasing use of technology in football, Buffon expressed the importance of striking a balance between empirical knowledge and modern algorithms. “There isn’t a universally valid way to understand and describe football, we have algorithms on one side and direct, empirical experience on the other. I am lucky because I can bridge the past and the present, with a view of the future. New computer systems are helpful in selecting players for a team; they should not be underestimated,” Buffon was quoted saying to Tuttosport.

However, he emphasised that when aiming for the top, personal wisdom and intuition, derived from personal experience, make a significant difference.

Buffon also shared his feelings on his retirement, saying, “I keep myself busy with many things, engaging my mind in trying to put aside new ideas and especially improve my skills.” He added that he had planned his retirement for about four or five years and simply chose the most appropriate moment.

Reflecting on his career, Buffon shared his immense privilege of sharing the field with certain players who inspired him as a child and the significant feeling of existential redemption he felt playing in Serie A for teams like Parma and Juventus.

Discussing the new generation of footballers, he expressed his concern that social media’s influence may create a sense of complacency among young players due to millions of followers’ validation and may lead to a decreased desire to delve deeper into their craft.

Commenting on his relationship with the atypical coach Spalletti, Buffon pointed out the importance Spalletti places on credibility, ensuring coherence between his words and actions and exerting discipline within the team.

Buffon also touched upon the words of Vialli, stressing the importance of valuing time and harnessing life’s opportunities to the fullest.

Finally, regarding Juventus’ title hopes, Buffon revealed, “Illusion? And why? It mustn’t necessarily be the objective that keeps you awake at night, but it should be ‘an’ objective, a hope. And it should be that desire and determination that shift the limit of every team.”

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