Parma, 22 June 2021 – Gianluigi Buffon presented himself as a new signing of Parma Calcio at a press conference at the Tardini.

The presentation was preceded by the words of Parma President Kyle Krause:

“Good evening everyone, what an exciting day for me, my family, Parma and our fans. When I was lucky enough to become the majority shareholder, I thought: What would it be like if we managed to get Buffon to sign a contract? We have not only brought back one of the greatest goalkeepers in the world, but also a player who won a trophy in Europe with Parma. I had the opportunity to meet Gigi in the locker room in Turin after the match against Juve and I asked him what he would do next season, he replied with his typical smile and left, but in the meantime, I had put the idea in his head. This is a historic moment for Parma, we have hired a great goalkeeper who will be a leader for the team as well as a great man, welcome back Gigi”.

Here is what Gianluigi Buffon had to say:

“With this decision, the only message I told myself was to look deeply at myself and know that if I don’t have emotional involvement, things won’t work out as well as I’m used to. I thought for 20 days about the opportunities I could have had until something came up, then I sent a message to my wife telling her we were going to Parma. I spoke with Maresca a couple of times but for purely tactical reasons, first I needed to recharge my batteries and make the choice about what would excite me more. I’m sure I can be a strong goalkeeper if I have total emotional involvement, and Parma is the perfect choice for me to be able to kickstart my final challenge, I’m convinced that it is”.

“As a man, I have changed, I have matured from the ages of 23 to 43 years old. I have not been to the city as of now, the first emotional moment was when I was climbing the stairs to go up to the old office, and I thought it seemed like yesterday even though 20 years have passed. Few can say that they have returned from high levels to the same place, I think I’m still an important goalkeeper and I have important objectives to achieve with Parma alongside this management. For those who have a lot of faith in me, my desire is to repay it”.

“I’ve always focused on giving my answers on the pitch, otherwise what I’ve always done has been to behave as I am and my teammates have always appreciated me, I like being in the group, joking and being serious when needed. My message to the square? My decision to return to Parma was also born because I have the desire with all of Parma to share what the team’s future results will be, the position of the fans was dominant in making my decision. Apart from a few sporadic cases, the gestures I received from the stadium every time I returned always pleased me, I gave Parma what they deserved for what they gave me. In all my teams I was a unifying and non-divisive element”.

“After the match against Parma in Turin I went back to the locker room and I told the Juventus management that Parma were in excellent hands despite their almost certain relegation, I met a person like Krause who gave me an impression of the seriousness that you hardly find in this world. This was important to me. Nothing has changed since 2006, at the time I chose Juve, today I choose Parma, regardless of Serie B; It’s the passion that I bring onto the pitch that counts. Differences from my 1995 debut? There are no applicable models in the present that were applied in the past, the way of interacting in the dressing room has also changed. When Maresca was introduced as the new coach, he said that the important thing is that whoever wants to come here to Parma must really want it. This means that there are players who don’t know what Parma is, the 16th most successful club in Europe in terms of trophies, it’s fairly recent history, and it must be a value that must be known by those who are here and who will come, otherwise, it’s hard to give the best of oneself”.

If I made this choice it’s also because I will be happy that even the youngest fans will be able to say that they had Buffon in their favourite team and be proud of it. My children knew little of what Parma represented for me, now they will understand why I do it, they are messages that I hope will stimulate them to understand why certain choices are made. The national team? Younger players have begun to be introduced and Mancini must have the serenity to choose his own group, who he considers most reliable. I gave myself the challenge when I was at PSG to continue playing until June 2023, asking myself for great performances. The year I spent in B was fun, for the many who shared it with me but also because you regain a sense of love for football that was the same as that which brought you closer to this world as a boy. Of course, we were so strong that we could afford to have fun, but I remember in the first games, getting into the new reality wasn’t easy and this made me sharpen my focus: I know what we are going to meet, and it will take humility and determination”.