Parma, 28 February 2022 – Parma goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon spoke to the press after it was announced that he would be extending his contract with the Club until 2024.

 “This is a great day for me, my family and my agent. I got what I wanted and I think that the president, fans and city wanted this as well. My return to Parma was based on the profound connection that I have with this city and its people, as well as the great enthusiasm and honesty that the Club president has. After seven months in which I have personally done well, it was important to do this as an act of responsibility towards the city and club and to give my total commitment. Away from just the future, I thought that it was important for me in my role to give this outward show of strength and unity, of conviction and belief in what we are doing here. I don’t feel the need to go after other superfluous and meaningless challenges, this here is still an exciting task, one that I want to do with the entire city, the club’s directors and the owner. I feel that I can still make a big contribution: those that have more must give more.”

 “I’m working with successful people, who are enthusiastic and ambitious as is the president, though I think it could also be the fact that we haven’t yet achieved what we set out to. But when there is such a clear vision, after a setback you just need to get on the right track towards better results. We’ve started this in the last 3/4 months. We certainly have a clear plan and we’re slowly putting the plan into motion. It would have been a shame to take a step back: I don’t like doing it, especially if I’m feeling good and have every confidence in the people I’m working with.

 “I haven’t thought about what comes after; I like to keep my focus on what I’m doing as a player and I don’t want to finish with any regrets. I’m only thinking as a player and I will do that until my last day, then I will have time to think about the rest. I have a lot of responsibilities, which I feel are on my shoulders, and I need all of my energy.

 “When we decided to begin this adventure together, we needed to lay down a strong marker, one of enthusiasm, but also to put to one side the disappointment felt by the people in Parma and the journalists. Every now and then, people stop me in the street to wish me luck, though there is the occasional reference to misfortune. We need to free ourselves from all that and think as though it was the very beginning. The greatest guarantee is having a president, who is this ambitious. We all make mistakes – those that never try, never fail – but a situation of such stability and potential, as the president is proposing here in Parma, is difficult to find in Italian football. We need to put our energy into this project; if a 44-year-old like me can see, then I hope the youngsters – both players and fans can see the good things that we have ahead of us. We just need to be flexible enough to understand who we have at our disposal, which is why I am staying.”

 “There are no conditions to my renewal, neither positive nor negative. We started this journey together and we’re on the right track. I don’t know if I can be any more concrete than that. Our form in the past month or so is a good sign ahead of the final push this season. If we were to win against Monza, it would certainly put us back in the mix and open up the possibility for a slightly happier outlook. I would, however, be content with just putting in a big performance. What we need is to demonstrate that our recent games – even if there was the odd defeat – have been a show of evolution and improvement. As soon as we start putting in consistently top performances, it then becomes difficult to drop points. I hope that the team can give this sign in such an important match. I renewed my contract because, when I arrived and knowing what I am capable of, I wanted to test myself and see what I was still capable of. This challenge and the responsibility that I have here give me a lot of motivation and is something that I don’t want to lose. My only thought is to reach our objectives; I can draw on the strength of those that believe they can do well. I am here to do my work and do it well.”

 “The problems that we have had are likely a result of discouragement from last season. A disappointing campaign can leave a mark. Many lads wear it on their skin and struggled initially this season. My way of dealing with it is very linear given my character and way of doing things. I’m the oldest member of the dressing room and my responsibility is to protect my teammates, as I also did when I was younger. It is something that I feel very deeply and it can help to build that relationship between all of the players.”

 “I’m optimistic for the future of Parma because I know Krause. I’m in a curious position: away from a few unconvincing performances as we expected, I got the sense in our last few games that we are now really playing as a team. You might lose a game here and there but there is this sense of unity. There’s invention even in the mistakes, which renewed my confidence. Even when we lose, we do so as a team. We were all a bit disorientated at the beginning and there was a sense that the team was falling apart, which you perceive straight away as a goalkeeper. It means a lot to me: I’m the last line of defence on the pitch and I see everything – not just in terms of winning or losing. I don’t like to boast, nor do I like it when judgements are based on name and not on what you do on the pitch: what I have done in recent years speaks for itself.”

 “As I said when I returned here, it was a shame that my children didn’t get to experience my time at Parma. I wanted to give them this experience because they needed to know what it meant for me. I now have the fortune to have them here and to see them in a Parma shirt and this makes me realise that they know how important Parma is. It’s something that gives me confidence that I made the right choice. Now we will try to win on the pitch too.”