After a remarkable 28-year career, Gianluigi Buffon announced his retirement from Parma and the beautiful game.

In the past, the 45-year-old said he plans to stay playing until the 2026 World Cup. Also, Buffon added that he aims to finish out his contract with Parma. That deal expires in June 2024.

However, the experienced goalie now sees a path toward an earlier retirement. Recent seasons, and aging, led to a series of injuries. Moreover, the team’s inability to make it to Serie A last season may have influenced his decision.

Parma concluded the year with 60 points, good enough for fourth place in Serie B. Throughout the campaign, Buffon battled a variety of muscle problems. For example, a hamstring injury sidelined the legend for three months.

What next for Buffon following retirement?

Fabrizio Romano says an official announcement on the retirement of Buffon is imminent. Within the following several days, a representative for Buffon will meet with the club to amicably dissolve the player’s contract.

Next, he’ll likely be given the position of Chief of Delegation for the Italian national team. Formerly, Gianluca Vialli held that position.

As a last major contract before retiring, the Italian allegedly rejected a rich chance to join the Saudi Pro League. He would have joined the ranks of other superstar players like Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema by moving to Saudi Arabia.

How many titles has he won in his career?

Buffon spent 19 of his 28 professional seasons at Juventus, where he became a household name and won a host of Serie A titles. His career in Turin spanned from 2001 to 2018, after which he transferred to Paris Saint-Germain of France’s Ligue 1. After just one year in Paris, he left for his former side for 2019-21 and then Parma for the rest of his career.

The famous goalie had an impressive trophy haul, including 10 Serie A championships and a Ligue 1 championship. In 2006, he was a key member of Italy’s World Cup-winning squad with Andrea Pirlo and Fabio Cannavaro.

PHOTO: IMAGO / Independent Photo Agency