Ahead of PSG’s champions league encoounter against Man Utd, Gianluigi Buffon sat down with Rio Ferdinand for an interview. The former Italy international revealed he turned down the two Manchester City clubs at some point in his career. “When I was a boy playing for Parma, [Sir Alex] Ferguson tracked me closely for two or three years. He’d always send scouts to watch me. At the time, Parma was my world and I didn’t feel like leaving.
“I later had a very big offer from Manchester City, when they started to build the team and become the most important side in Europe. They wanted me to be the first signing, but I stayed at Juve.” The 41-year-old left Juventus for Paris Saint-Germain in summer 2018. He is set to face Manchester United in the second leg of their UEFA Champions League last 16 on Wednesday at the Parc des Princes.
Buffon is widely regarded as one of the game’s greatest goalkeepers. He won Serie A and the Coppa Italia numerous times in his 17 years with Juventus and helped Italy win the 2006 FIFA World Cup. However, the one trophy that has so far eluded Buffon throughout his glittering career is the European Cup. The goalkeeper has been a beaten finalist twice in the last four years with Juventus but will be hoping for success in the tournament this time around.
The 41-year-old kept a clean sheet at Old Trafford in the first leg, which saw him hit a landmark. PSG lead that two-legged tie 2-0 heading into a return date at Parc des Princes. Kylian Mbappe was among their goalscorers at Old Trafford and continues to be showered with praise during a remarkable run which has made him a World Cup winner and global superstar. Buffon has saluted his potential in the past, while current boss Thomas Tuchel believes the 20-year-old can go on to achieve anything he sets his mind to.
The PSG manager told BT Sport: “Well the guy is hungry, and he is a big personality, really big. “So this is not always easy, because the big personality is challenging for me as a coach. At the same time he is a really nice guy. “It is important he has this personality to challenge me, and everyone around him, because he has the hunger to be really as special player in history.”