Gianluigi Buffon, a legend in goalkeeping, confirmed on Saturday that he would be joining the coaching staff of the Italian national football team three days after hanging up his gloves.
The 45-year-old man will serve as Italy’s delegation leader, assisting head coach Roberto Mancini in the role that was originally held by the late Gianluca Vialli.
“The blue jersey is part of my life,” said Buffon, who helped Italy win the World Cup in 2006.
He made a solemn oath to say things like, “I will put myself at the disposal of Roberto Mancini and the group, and I will tread lightly.”
When it comes to Italy, the investment, the sacrifices, and the availability are more important than the reward itself.
The Italian federation referred to the occasion as a “great day for Italy” and said that “Gigi is coming home” as the reason for their excitement.
Buffon will be able to begin his new role in time for Italy’s next Euro 2024 qualifying matches against North Macedonia and Ukraine in September.
He now holds the record for the most Serie A matches played (657), and he is the player with the most caps in the history of Italy’s national team, with 176 (1997-2018).
This spanned five World Cups, with the highlight being in 2006 when Italy triumphed against France in a penalty shootout to win the tournament.