Gianluigi Buffon signs new Parma deal to keep playing past 46th birthday

Former Italy international Gianluigi Buffon is set to sign a new contract at Parma which will keep him at the club past his 46th birthday, sources told ESPN.

Buffon, who started his career with Parma as a 17-year-old in 1995, is Italy's most capped male international footballer with 176 appearances.

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He left Parma to join Juventus in 2001 for a then world-record transfer fee for a goalkeeper of €52 million ($58.3m) and, after a successful two decades with the Turin club, he returned to his former side following their relegation to Serie B in 2021.

Buffon has played in 22 of Parma's 26 league matches this term and sources have told ESPN he will pen a new contract until 2024.

The 44-year-old's short-term plans will be to help his side return to Serie A, though that may be difficult this season as they are 13th in the table and with only an outside chance of making the playoffs.

During Buffon's first spell at Parma, the club were regulars in European competition and he was part of the side which won the UEFA Cup in 1999 as well as the Coppa Italia in the same season.

At Juve, he won 10 Serie A titles as well as the Coppa Italia on five occasions. Buffon even has a Serie B title medal from his time with the Bianconeri after they had been relegated in the 2006 for influencing referees in the Calciopoli scandal.

Buffon also reached three Champions League finals with Juventus, in 2003, 2015 and 2017, but finished on the losing side on each occasion.

In the 2018-19 season, Buffon moved to Paris Saint-Germain, where he won the Ligue 1 title.

The legendary goalkeeper made his Italy debut in 1997 and was part of the side which won the 2006 World Cup and also finished as runners up at Euro 2012. He retired from international football after the failure to reach the 2018 World Cup.