Gianluigi Buffon has joked that he may consider headbutting another player as a wowing end to his illustrious international career with Italy.
Buffon, 39, will play his 1000th senior game when he takes to the pitch against Albania in the World Cup qualifiers. It will also be his 168th Italy game, making him the most capped European player — above Spain’s Iker Casillas and Latvian Vitalijs Astafjevs, although he still needs another 17 caps to break the 184-appearance world record of former Egypt midfielder Ahmed Hassan.
“How do I imagine my last ever game?” Buffon considered when the question was put to him after the press conference for the qualifier.
“Maybe I’ll go out like Zidane, headbutting someone on the pitch!” was his jesting reply, referring to former French star Zinedine Zidane’s infamous headbutt of Buffon’s compatriot Marco Materazzi in the 2006 World Cup final.
In the press conference at Coverciano, the captain for the Azzurri was also asked if he will be keeping to his previous intentions of retiring after the 2018 World Cup.
“I don’t know, now I just have to think about the upcoming games,” Buffon shrugged.”
“For the rest we’ll see, in life have objectives. It’s important to win, when you win big there’s a risk of being burned, we’ll think about things calmly, with no certainty of what will happen.
“The 1000 games? It’s a huge pleasure, I can tell you there won’t be another thousand!”
“But before I think about how I’ll end my career, we need to go to the World Cup in Russia in 2018. Maybe it [my last game] could be at the World Cup.”
“I still have some time to think about it though.”