It is very easy to overlook all the achievements he had in his fairly long club and national career and cap him off as a talented and lucky individual. What we miss here are the hardships he had to overcome to be who he is.
And it sure is nothing short of cinematic.
His career started as a fairly young teenager, with excellent shot-stopping capabilities. Straight out of Parma’s academy, rejecting offers from Bologna and Milan, this lanky goalkeeper quickly rose the ranks in Italy’s Youth National Teams and made his full-fledged debut in 1995 at the age of 17 (Sure, reminds you of Gigi Donnarumma right). He developed himself there before having his first major switch.
Hard life ahead:
Life after entering Juventus was rosy. He had settled into the ranks fairly easily and established himself well during their back to back Serie A title victories. But this is when his character was tested.
1. The Calciopoli Scandal:
He was accused of illegal betting on Italian Serie A matches. He and several other Juventus players were interrogated for their involvement in the same. Though Buffon was later let off unscathed, his entire reputation had taken a toll.
The result of this scandal implied Juventus were scrapped their 2005 and 2006 Serie A titles and were relegated to Serie B.
How would any other footballer react?
Take an offer from another club, maybe, have a better shot at the Serie A titles and Champions League Glory.
This is where his extreme display of maturity and personality comes to foray.
He decided to stay with Juventus and play for them and guide them to glory from Serie B
2. FIFA World Cup 2006:
Amidst all the allegations against him regarding the scandal, his very own place in the team was surrounded by a lot of doubt. Many thought that maybe he jeopardized his place in the National Team by volunteering to be interrogated in the entire scandal.
Sure he was Italy’s best Goalkeeper, but can you field a player with charges against him? (This was before he was cleared off all the charges). Also, Marco Storari was at the peak of his form and was waiting to pounce onto the chance to defend between the sticks.
How would any other footballer react?
Fall with the burden of pressure from the media and others. Despair. Disbelief. And doubt your potential.
Led the team to win the 2006 FIFA World Cup. And boy did he do that in some style. Conceded just 2 goals in the entire tournament including a 453-minute scoreless streak.
And what’s more? Both two goals were against the run of open play. One is an own-goal, and the other a penalty converted by Zinedine Zidane.
3. Injuries and Hardships v2.0:
Post the World Cup victory, he was plagued by injuries and was sidelined from the starting lineup. A serious back injury almost ended his career and he was surely advised not to play again. Plus, Juventus were on a winless streak. From 2007–11, they were nearly in a trophyless drought.
And why not, A.C. Milan and Internazionale Milano were on the rise. Star-studded line-ups, tremendous European dominance and an oligopolized Serie A Title Winning Streak.
How would other players react?
Why not take an offer from these clubs already? All the star-studded line-up and a chance to be a part of history in the making could lure any player to join the best-in-the-business back then. But he had other plans.
Patience is the key. And good things happen to those who wait. Takes on the leadership from Alessandro del Piero and leads the Juventus side to 5 Consecutive Serie A Titles. Rising like a phoenix from the ashes under Antonio Conte’s management, Buffon donned the role of a leader now. Inspiring his players from the back and being the best shot-stopper he is, this is how you answer your haters!
And oh about the injury?
The oldest goalkeeper to grace the game currently. Highest ranked Goalkeeper in 2016 Ballon d’Or winner list.
39 years of raw aggression, grit, determination and will to succeed.
And this quote by Rocky Balboa rightly fits in.
"It ain’t about how hard you hit. It is about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward."
That’s how winners are made.
That’s how personalities emerge!
Content created and supplied by: DanielSampson_05 (via Opera News )