Juventus goalkeeper Gigi Buffon has celebrated 974 minutes between conceding goals for Juventus by penning an open letter to the goal he protects.
Buffon, arguably the greatest goalkeeper to have ever played, is the most capped player in the history of the Italian national team with 154 caps and is currently the Juventus number one with 452 appearances and counting.
An Andrea Belotti penalty against Torino at the weekend ended his streak and the Italian shot stopper has penned an articulate and emotional tribute to the goal he serves every week.
He is on course to win his seventh Serie A title with Juventus this season, having won ten Serie A Goalkeeper of the Year awards as well.
Republic of Ireland fans will get the chance to witness Buffon in action this summer when Martin O’Neill’s men take on Italy at Euro 2016 in France.
— Gianluigi Buffon (@gianluigibuffon) March 21, 2016
ESPNFC writer James Horncastle has since provided an English translation:
“I was 12 when I turned my back on you, denying my past to guarantee you a safe future.
“I went with my heart.
“I went with my instinct.
“But the day I stopped looking you in the face is also the day that I started to love you.
“To protect you.
“To be your first and last line of defence.
“I promised myself that I would do everything not to see your face again. Or that I would do it as little as possible. It was painful every time I did, turning around and realising I had disappointed you.
“We have always been opposites yet we are complementary, like the sun and the moon. Forced to live side by side without being able to touch. Team-mates for life, a life in which we are denied all contact.
“More than 25 years ago I made my vow: I swore to protect you. Look after you. A shield against all your enemies. I’ve always thought about your welfare, putting it first even ahead of my own.
“I was 12 when I turned my back on my goal. And I will keep doing it as long as my legs, my head and my heart will allow.”
Maurice Brosnan, Pundit Arena