Gianluigi Buffon marked his 100th Uefa Champions League game for Juventus in grand style on Wednesday, making a string of brilliant saves in a 2-0 win at Monaco in the first leg of their semi-final.
The Italy captain, who has been a Juve stalwart for over 16 years, says his motivation is to continue proving he belongs at the highest level and wants people to be sad when he eventually ends his playing career.
Juve have only conceded twice in 11 Champions League matches in 2016-17.
‘In every game I want to show that I deserve to play at this level despite my age,’ he told UEFA after the match.
As against the rumour making the rounds that want to win the Ballon d’Or before he retires, his agent, Silvano Martina says the Ballon d’Or “isn’t an obsession” for the Juventus man – “whether he deserves it is another matter…”
“For Buffon, the talking is always on the pitch, there isn’t much more to add,” Silvano Martina shrugged, speaking to Tuttomercatoweb.
“He’s a force of nature, even at 39 he still makes the difference like no other goalkeeper. He has qualities which I don’t see in any other number ones.
“The Ballon d’Or? If he wins it, he wins it. If he doesn’t win it, he doesn’t. It’s not an obsession for him, it doesn’t change anything in a career which speaks for itself.
Gonzalo Higuain’s double did the damage for Massimiliano Allegri’s men, but the players at the other end of the pitch also played a huge part in their victory, keeping out a Monaco side who had scored 12 goals in four knockout games coming into the tie.