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Buffon upbeat despite potential Champions League farewell

Madrid (AFP) – Gianluigi Buffon has admitted he could be playing his final Champions League game when Juventus take on Real Madrid in the quarter-final second leg on Wednesday. 

But the 40-year-old claims he is not saddened by the prospect, instead insisting there would be few better places to bow out than the Santiago Bernabeu. 

Buffon is yet to confirm his plans this summer but he is out of contract at Juventus and the expectation is the Italian goalkeeper is likely to retire. 

Juve are looking to make the impossible possible against Real, who boast a 3-0 advantage from last week’s opening leg in Turin. 

“The important thing is that it is not for Juventus the last game, this is the most important,” Buffon said on Tuesday. 

“The possibility that it will be mine fits but it is not something that depresses me or that leads me to negative thoughts. 

“If it is like that, I would not have complained much as a child about playing my last (European) match against Real Madrid.” 

Buffon has made 124 appearances in the Champions League, 110 for Juventus, but he has never lifted the trophy with the Italian club. 

Last season, it was Real that denied Buffon becoming the oldest ever European champion as the Spanish giants strolled to a 4-1 victory in the final in Cardiff. 

Buffon has been a Champions League runner-up three times with Juve in total and it would take an incredible comeback to prevent further heartbreak this week. 

“We cannot play with the hope that we change everything in the first 20 minutes,” Juve coach Massimiliano Allegri said on Tuesday. 

“I want to say the duty we have tomorrow is to erase that 3-0 which was a very hard result. 

“We will have to play a great match against an incredible team in an incredible stadium, do everything possible to get a positive result and then in the match we do not know what could happen.” 

Buffon added: “We have to play with spirit and stay together as a group. Evidently if we achieve the miracle we would all be very happy.” 

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