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Gianluigi Buffon's 500th Juventus appearance ends in disaster

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Juventus goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon made his 500th appearance of remarkably consistent career with the Old Lady against Genoa last night, but what was supposed to be an evening of celebration as he conceded a decisive late strike to Luca Antonini.

Buffon wore a special captain's armband bearing a 500 symbol and was presented with a trophy to mark his achievements before kick-off at the Marassi, a ground he used to visit with his uncle as a boyhood Genoa fan.

The 36-year-old was overshadowed by his opposite number Mattia Perin though, left with little to do but pick the ball out of the net as Genoa ruined both Buffon's party and Juve's unbeaten record in the process.

Buffon didn't have to make a single save until past the hour mark, with Perin the far busier as he made a string of terrific stops to deny the likes of Carlos Tevez, Angelo Ogbonna and Alvaro Morata.

Those misses ultimately proved costly and left Buffon seething as Genoa broke the deadlock in the dying moments of a tense clash, with Antonini scuffed former Juve striker Alessandro Matri's cross over the line to leave the Bianconeri stunned.

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Juve fans should be under no illusions as to how disappointing a midweek slip at Genoa is, not just for a man in Buffon who has previously expressed a desire to represent the Rossublu before his tremendous career comes to an end.

Massimilano Allegri's side are under more pressure than ever to retain the Scudetto thanks to a strong Roma side revitalised by Rudi Garcia.

Slip-ups like a late capitulation against Genoa could prove very costly, with the two evenly-matched sides now deadlocked at 22 points after nine matches.

World's most expensive keeper worth every penny

Buffon's £32.6m move to Juve in 2001 came at the very peak of a sensational spending spree that swept across the Serie A well over a decade ago, making him the world's most expensive goalkeeper in a record that still stands to this day.

Juve have got their money's worth from a truly commanding stopper of the highest order though, with a trophy haul to match.

Even allowing for the two titles Juve lost due to match-fixing sanctions the Azzurri linchpin has still collected five Scudetto's and featured in a Champions League final for the Old Lady, and that's before we even begin to analyse an international career which includes the famous World Cup triumph in 2006.

One of only three players to five World Cup finals is something of a rarity in the modern game, a top-class player who will now forever be associated with one club and has rarely allowed his standard of performance to drop below exemplary during nearly two decades at the very highest level.

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Serie A

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