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Juventus extends keeper Buffon's contract through 2014-15

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Associated Press
1/23/2013 10:13:00 AM
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TURIN, Italy -- Juventus goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon extended his contract with the Serie A club on Wednesday, keeping him in Turin through 2014-15 season.

"I suggested renewing for a year, every single bit of me wanted Juventus to be free," Buffon said. "But Juve made a counter-offer of two years because at least in the next two years the club won't have to get another goalkeeper. So we decided it was right to renew for two years.

"There were no offers from other clubs, because they knew I would never leave. I never thought about other teams, Juve is under my skin. I can't see myself in another team's shirt."

The Italy goalkeeper has reportedly taken a (euro)1.5 million ($2 million) pay cut.

Buffon, who turns 35 next week, is in his 12th season with Juventus after beginning his career at Parma. He has helped Juventus to three Serie A titles, plus two that were revoked in the 2006 match-fixing scandal.

"I have a really clear memory of my start here," Buffon said. "I was worried about being catapulted here from the different environment of Parma, which I really owe a lot to.

"As soon as I arrived at this club I asked myself whether I was good enough. I never thought that I would be the captain of a prestigious team like Juventus."

During Italy's run to the 2006 World Cup title, Buffon allowed only two goals in seven matches. He has made 123 appearances for the Azzurri, third all-time behind record-holder Fabio Cannavaro (136) and Paolo Maldini (126).

"I live day by day, it's right not to put limits on yourself and give yourself dates," Buffon said. "I am convinced that now there's the World Cup and in 3 1/2 years, there will be the European Championship.

"I want to get there and I can do that."

Juventus President Andrea Agnelli said Buffon's Juventus career could last even beyond 2015.

"Personality, honesty, loyalty, transparency -- that's Buffon," Agnelli said. "He will be part of the who's who of the really great players. It will be up to him to decide, as he has always done honestly, if he is in the right conditions to continue in the future. Juve is always his home.

"I hope that in these two years, Gigi Buffon can bring back the Ballon d'Or to Italy. It would be the right acknowledgement of what Gigi represents for the world of football, Italian football and Juventus."

Gianluigi Buffon (Photo: Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

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(Photo: Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)
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