#PARMATIMEMACHINE – The Parma Time Machine is ready to be turned on again. Indeed, today, on our official Twitter channels, Parma vs. AC Milan on matchday ten of the 1995/96 Serie A season will be revisited from 14:50 CET. It was the match that saw Gianluigi Buffon make his Crociati debut.

Sunday 19 November 1995. Parma’s tenth league fixture of the season. The sun was shining over the Tardini, but winter was kicking in. The stadium was packed to the rafters, with gate receipts totalling over a billion lira – a record at the time. It had the makings of a potential Scudetto showdown, with Parma and AC Milan both sitting on 20 points at the top of the table. Behind them were Lazio on 16. The Curva Nord and the whole of Parma were ready to push the team on. “Un mare di colore…un oceano d’amore!” (A sea of colour… an ocean of love”) were the words on the banner exhibited by Boys 1977.

Scala went with his usual 5-3-2, while Capello sent out his team in a classic 4-4-2. For the Crociati, a new face lined up between the sticks. Bucci was injured, and Nista was the favourite to be selected in goal. However, Scala chose a surprise move. Against all expectations. Indeed, a 17-year-old youngster called Gianluigi Buffon was the one called upon to keep out Weah, Roberto Baggio, Boban, Maldini and Co. He first touched the ball when he came out to claim Boban’s cross from the right. Then, he denied Eranio, quickly rushing out to punch the ball away to safety. The next player to be thwarted was Baggio, with Buffon getting fingertips to his header. Decisive. The second half came and Gigi was there again: Boban’s corner dropped to Marco Simone, who found himself in all sorts of space in the box, but the Crociati shot-stopper was equal to his effort. Then, there was one final save as he came out to crucially beat Weah to the ball. The match finished 0-0.

It was the start of a legend, of an incredible story. And it was the best possible start too. Now, 26 years later, he continues to be where he deserves to be. Out on the pitch. For Parma.

CHARITY AUCTION – For the anniversary of Gigi Buffon’s debut, Parma Calcio 1913 and Errea Sport decided to pay tribute to the goalkeeper through the creation of a commemorative shirt, giving the jersey worn by him in Parma vs. AC Milan a modern twist. Our shot-stopper will wear it on Sunday during Parma vs. Cosenza.

An exact replica of this shirt will be put up for auction by the Associazione Parma Museum Onlus. This will be dedicated to two of the association’s historic founders, who recently passed away. They are Massimo Zannoni, who taught Gianluigi Buffon at the time of his Serie A debut, and Paolo Borelli, who bravely fought Motor Neurone Disease.

The proceeds from the initiative will be donated to Aisla Onlus, the Italian association that aims to help those that have been diagnosed with MNDs and develop research against this neurodegenerative disease.

“It’s definitely something very special. My wife, my kids and I often wonder if, in 300 years, someone will notice Parma while looking at the history of football and say: ‘Look at this Buffon guy, look at the Buffon family: they all played for Parma as goalkeepers’. And then later on, they realise that it was actually just one guy who began at Parma aged 17 before returning at the age of 43. That feels like something really special to me.”