Juventus goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon has said he will have no regrets if Wednesday’s Champions League quarterfinal second leg at Real Madrid proves to be his last game in the competition.
Buffon, 40, is set to end his playing career in the summer unless Juve win the Champions League, in which case he wants to play in the Club World Cup.
But having lost the first leg at home to Madrid 3-0, Juve need an extraordinary turnaround to stay in the competition.
“I don’t know if this will be my last, and I don’t want to talk about it now,” captain Buffon told Mediaset.
“But any professional footballer would aim to make their last Champions League appearance at the Bernabeu against Real Madrid.
“As a kid, I would have signed for my last game in the Champions League to be here.”
Buffon said the first leg result meant Juventus travelled to Madrid “a bit free in our minds, although I would have preferred it if we were stressed.”
He added: “All the times we’ve come to Madrid in the past, the chances of qualifying have always been high but that’s less the case this time, even though we still have to honour our history and the shirts we’re wearing.”
Coach Massimiliano Allegri said he wanted his side to “play a great game” despite their big deficit.
“We need to cancel that 3-0 from the first leg,” he told his prematch news conference. “That did not tell the truth.
“We’ve got to treat this like a one-off game and do all we possibly can to get a good result.
“I’ve already said that we don’t have much of a chance, but I won’t put a figure on it. Our only objective is to play a great game and get a good result here, then we’ll see.”
With Paulo Dybala suspended, Gonzalo Higuain will lead the attack “with two from [Mario] Mandzukic, [Juan] Cuadrado and Douglas Costa,” Allegri said.
Ben Gladwell reports on Serie A, the Italian national team and the Bundesliga for ESPN FC, UEFA and the Press Association. @UEFAcomBenG.