Superman returns! Buffon back at Parma after 20 years

By Sports Desk June 17, 2021

Gianluigi Buffon has returned to Parma, the club where he began his senior career 20 years ago.

The veteran goalkeeper left Juventus at the end of the 2020-21 season and was reportedly approached by Turkish Super Lig giants Besiktas, and Flamengo.

The Italy great has instead chosen to return to Stadio Ennio Tardini, where he developed as a youth and spent six years in the senior team after making his debut back in 1995 at the age of 17, keeping a clean sheet against a Milan side featuring the likes of Roberto Baggio and George Weah.

Roberto D'Aversa, the Parma head coach, was a teenager on the Rossoneri's books at the time.

Parma announced the return of their "superman" via a video released on Twitter, showing Buffon digging up a time capsule buried beneath one of the goals at the famous old ground.

Buffon won the Coppa Italia, Supercoppa Italiana and famously the 1998-99 UEFA Cup with Parma before leaving for Juve in 2001.

His glittering career in Turin included 11 league titles – one of which came when they topped Serie B in 2006-07, Buffon having stayed at the club despite their relegation due to the Calciopoli scandal.

Buffon also won five Coppe Italia, most recently last season, and six Supercoppe Italiana. He reached three Champions League finals with Juve, losing each one.

He spent 2018-19 with Paris Saint-Germain, winning Ligue 1 and the Trophee des Champions, before returning to the Allianz Stadium two years ago.

A winner of the 2006 World Cup, Buffon's 176 Italy caps is a record for the Azzurri, his final appearance coming in a friendly with Argentina in March 2018.

Buffon, who turns 44 next January, will spend 2021-22 in Serie B, Parma having been relegated last season after winning just three games.

 

Related items

  • Bologna 2-4 Milan: Bennacer and Ibrahimovic strike late to send Rossoneri top of Serie A Bologna 2-4 Milan: Bennacer and Ibrahimovic strike late to send Rossoneri top of Serie A

    Milan moved to the Serie A summit as Ismael Bennacer and Zlatan Ibrahimovic struck late to hand them a pulsating 4-2 win over nine-man Bologna.

    Rafael Leao and Davide Calabria scored either side of Adama Soumaoro's dismissal to give the Rossoneri a healthy advantage at the interval.

    That was wiped out in the space of seven minutes at the start of the second period, however, with an Ibrahimovic own goal and a Musa Barrow strike restoring parity at the Stadio Renato Dall'Ara.

    Bologna had a second man sent off before the hour mark, Roberto Soriano given a straight red card for a late challenge, and Stefano Pioli's Milan landed a memorable three points thanks to fine late strikes from Bennacer and Ibrahimovic.

    Leao put Milan ahead in the 16th minute with a deflected strike, before Soumaoro was shown a red card for bringing down a clean-through Rade Krunic just outside the area four minutes later.

    Milan took advantage of their numerical superiority in the 35th minute, Calabria lashing home a second from 15 yards.

    The hosts stormed back at the start of the second period, though, with Ibrahimovic – making his first start since May 9 – heading into his own net four minutes after the interval to give Sinisa Mihajlovic's side hope.

    Barrow then remarkably drew Bologna level in the 52nd minute, slotting past Ciprian Tatarusanu after being played in by Soriano.

    Rossoblu captain Soriano was then given his marching orders after a VAR review six minutes later for an ugly challenge on Fode Ballo-Toure.

    The hosts held firm until the 84th minute when Bennacer powered into the bottom-left corner from 20 yards, while Ibrahimovic added gloss to the scoreline with a whipped finish from the same distance six minutes later.

  • Bayern Munich's Kimmich explains why he isn't vaccinated against COVID-19 Bayern Munich's Kimmich explains why he isn't vaccinated against COVID-19

    Bayern Munich midfielder Joshua Kimmich has explained his reasoning for not getting the COVID-19 vaccine.

    The 26-year-old played the full 90 minutes as Bayern swept Hoffenheim aside 4-0 at home, with Serge Gnabry, Robert Lewandowski, Eric Choupo-Moting and Kingsley Coman scoring the goals.

    It was the second match in succession that fully vaccinated head coach Julian Nagelsmann missed due to testing positive for the coronavirus, with the 34-year-old also not present for the 4-0 victory over Benfica in the Champions League on Wednesday.

    Kimmich explained that he is not opposed to the prospect of getting vaccinated at some stage, but he wishes to wait for further research to be conducted.

    "I just want to wait for myself when it comes to long-term studies [about the vaccine]," Kimmich told Sky Deutschland after the game. "Nevertheless, I am aware of my responsibility.

    "Of course, I adhere to the hygiene measures. It is also the case that we unvaccinated players at the club are tested every two or three days.

    "Nevertheless, it is not now that I am in any way a corona denier or vaccination opponent. I don't say categorically that I won't be vaccinated at all. It's just about the fact that I still have a few concerns. That is why it is very possible that I will be vaccinated in the future."

    The Germany international was asked about the initiative 'WeKickCorona' started last year by himself and his Bayern team-mate Leon Goretzka, and Kimmich explained that his aim was to help those affected by COVID-19.

    "'WeKickCorona' was about supporting charitable institutions and non-profit purposes that support people who are in need due to corona," Kimmich said. 

    "We have also donated money to Unicef, which then makes vaccines available. The point is that there are countries that do not have access to the vaccine. 

    "I think everyone should make the decision for themselves. It [should not be] possible that someone has no access."

  • Inter boss Inzaghi shrugs off Allegri's 'favourites' tag ahead of Derby d'Italia Inter boss Inzaghi shrugs off Allegri's 'favourites' tag ahead of Derby d'Italia

    Inter were labelled as favourites to win the Serie A title by Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri, and Simone Inzaghi took the compliment in his stride.

    The Nerazzurri host Juventus in the Derby d'Italia on Sunday, with three points separating the sides in the standings.

    Inter are behind Milan and a Napoli side who have made a flying start to the campaign, winning all eight matches.

    However, Allegri insisted in his pre-match news conference on Saturday that Inter were still the favourites, despite having lost coach Antonio Conte, star striker Romelu Lukaku and full-back Achraf Hakimi over the close season.

    Inzaghi responded by accepting Allegri's flattery, though the Inter boss does not agree with his Juventus counterpart.

    "The championship is at the beginning," Inzaghi told a news conference. "It's a very important match between two very competitive teams.

    "If [Allegri] says so, a coach I respect so much, it's nice. I could say the same about them, Napoli, Milan and more.

    "We want to be favourites and we will try to do our best."

    Juve come into Sunday's fixture on the back of a four-match winning run in Serie A, while Inter lost 3-1 at Lazio last time out in the league.

    The Turin giants are also expected to be able to welcome back forward Paulo Dybala, who has been out for almost a month due to injury.

     

    "Of course, Juventus are our historical rivals," Inzaghi said. "We will have to do well to make the match ours. They have recovered all their players, they have excellent results and we must give them great attention.

    "We have always held our ground and lost only two games despite playing well, even deserving a different result.

    "The progress is good, we have slowed down for a moment, but we are aware and play excellent football."

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.