Gianluigi Buffon has won everything during his illustrious career - with the exception of the Champions League.
European club football’s biggest prize is the one major trophy that has eluded the legendary Italian goalkeeper over the past 22 years, but that could change in Cardiff on June 3.
Buffon and his Juventus teammates booked their place in the Champions League final on Tuesday night by recording a 2-1 victory (4-1 on aggregate) over AS Monaco.
Goals from Mario Mandzukic and star of the two-legged tie, Dani Alves, means Juve will play either Real Madrid or Atletico Madrid next month.
And it gives Buffon his third - and almost certainly final - opportunity to land his hands on the one trophy he craves most.
He finished as a runner-up against AC Milan in 2003, before suffering more heartache in the 2015 final against Barcelona.
Buffon: I believed in my dreams
And following Tuesday’s win over Monaco, Buffon admitted he wasn’t sure if he’d ever reach another Champions League final after losing to Barça two years ago.
“I am very happy, because I get here in good shape and there’s no denying if I wasn’t in a big club and with great teammates, I would never have come back into the Champions League final,” the 39-year-old told Mediaset Premium, per Football Italia.
“Two years ago everyone assumed it was my last Champions League final, and I made that hypothesis too, but you have to keep believing in your dreams.”
Video: Buffon did something brilliant after the match
Aware that this could be his final opportunity to celebrate reaching a Champions League final, Buffon did something brilliant after the match.
After conducting a quick post-match TV interview, Buffon sprinted over to celebrate with the Juventus fans.
All of his teammates were inside the dressing room but Buffon didn’t care; he wanted his moment to pay tribute to the club’s supporters.
Watch it here…
Rio Ferdinand: I hope Buffon wins it
Speaking live on BT Sport, the former Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand admitted he hopes to see Buffon win the trophy next month because of the immense loyalty he’s showed to Juventus over the years - including staying with the club when they were demoted to Serie B in 2006.
Fingers crossed, Rio. Fingers crossed.
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