Gianluigi Buffon turned 38 in January but the legendary Italian goalkeeper broke a Serie A record at the weekend.
The Juventus icon needed to keep a clean sheet inside the opening four minutes of Sunday’s match in Torino to overtake Sebastiano Rossi’s previous record of 929 minutes without conceding a Serie A goal.
Buffon achieved that and then kept his clean sheet intact until the 48th minute - stretching his personal run to 974 minutes - when he was finally beaten by Torino’s Andrea Belotti.
SUBMIT AN ARTICLE
Apply to become a GMS writer by signing up and submitting a 250-word test article: http://gms.to/haveyoursay5
Article continues below
The veteran keeper was hailed after the match by current and former players, pundits and fans alike.
Former Juventus and Manchester United goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar led the plaudits on Twitter, congratulating the Italian after his latest record-breaking exploits.
Article continues below
Van der Sar tweets Buffon
Van der Sar tweeted: “Congratulations to @gianluigibuffon with beating the record of not conceding in Serie A today! #stillgoingstrong”.
Buffon dedicates record to his teammates
After the match, Buffon dedicated his new Serie A record to his teammates.
"This morning I had a bit of a temperature and didn't wake up feeling good, but I couldn't miss this game," Buffon told Mediaset Premium, per Goal. "Once the four minutes had passed and the record was broken, I was mainly focused on the game and ensuring we recovered from the heavy blow in Munich.
"I am happy to play in this team and the record belongs to Juventus, not me. I was also fortunate to achieve it, because my teammates stopped the opposition from creating chances. They worked their socks off to block every avenue and protect me."
Buffon admitted he hadn’t even considered the possibility of breaking Rossi’s record until relatively recently. He went over 16 hours without conceding a goal in the league - a run of 10 consecutive clean sheets.
"I started to think we could break this record in Bergamo against Atalanta, two Sundays ago,” he added. “You kept asking me about it in interviews after three or four games that I hadn't conceded, as if that was somehow odd," Italy's most capped player joked. "In all honesty, I didn't think about individual records, as I always saw myself as a team man, but then I realised it's wonderful too.
"It's a reward because the more you think about the team, the more you are likely to get rewarded as an individual. At the age of 38 I still think I can express myself at a high level and that is thanks to my family, everyone from my parents and sisters to partner and children. When you are happy in your home life, you can push yourself further professionally."
Is Gianluigi Buffon the best goalkeeper of his generation? Have your say by leaving a comment below.