A new path will begin - Buffon says goodbye to Juventus

Ahead of the legendary goalkeeper's final appearance for Juventus, Gianluigi Buffon has said goodbye to the Serie A champions.

Juventus and Italy goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon   -  Getty Images

Gianluigi Buffon says it is time for a new journey to begin as the veteran goalkeeper prepares to play for Juventus for the final time.

The 40-year-old, regarded as one of the finest goalkeepers ever, announced he is leaving Juve at a news conference on Thursday.

Buffon, who also retired from international duty once more, suggested he could seek to play on away from Serie A, with Ligue 1 champions Paris Saint-Germain reportedly ready to make an offer.

And Buffon posted an emotional farewell tribute to Juve ahead of Saturday's home game against Verona, his last match for the club.

"Thank you," Buffon wrote in a lengthy post on Instagram. "Thanks to everyone of you. Because each of you has helped to make every moment of my life special in black and white. A life that has become a second skin. 

"A skin that I have worn, loved and respected. And that I have guarded and protected with all of myself. With all my limitations, but also with all the passion that has always accompanied me. 

"With tomorrow, a path ends. End a book we wrote together. The emotion is so great. Too much. 

"A new path will inevitably begin. A new book. It must begin. For Juventus that will remain beyond any player, always! And they will continue to write other important pages of this book that I think and imagine infinite. Because theirs is a unique and unparalleled DNA. Unrepeatable and magnificent. 

"Juve is a family. My family."

Buffon ends his Serie A career with nine league titles and five Coppa Italias, as well as a World Cup winners' medal from the 2006 tournament, and the veteran suggested the opportunity to prove himself once more could entice him to play on.

"A new path will inevitably begin," Buffon continued. "A new book. It must begin. For me, I will learn to look at the future with different eyes.

"I will begin to gather the new challenges that life will propose to me with the curiosity of those who do not want to stop feeling 'at stake'.

"And I will feel the healthy fear of those who have experienced many challenges, sometimes won, many others lost, but who is aware that each of them is different from the previous one. And therefore more difficult."