Italian International Gianluigi Buffon has revealed a burning desire to better his Serie A record for the most minutes without conceding.
Buffon conceded for the first time in 11 league matches during the Turin derby between Juventus Torino on Sunday, capping the record at 973 minutes having already surpassed Sebastiano Rossi’s previous mark of 929 in the fourth minute of the game.
The 38-year-old was beaten by an Andrea Belotti 48th-minute penalty in the 4-1 win at Stadio Olimpico and has surprisingly declared that a starting point for his new target.
“I think I can improve my unbeaten record in Serie A, which I shared with Juventus and a fantastic group of lads,” he said.
“Now we start again and I’m already at 42 minutes!”
Buffon is in line to be picked by manager Antonio Conte for the game friendly against Spain where Iker Casillas holds sway and the Juventus shot-stopper has expressed plenty of respect for his opposite number.
“In my view the word ‘respect’ is very important and can have many different readings,” he added. “Here we are talking only about football and whether we are liked or not liked by a fan, coach, team-mate or journalist.
“I hope there is respect for me in Italy, just as I am sure there is for Iker in Spain. Of course there are moments in a career that are highs and others lows, but if a professional has always given stratospheric performances has a slight dip then people immediately call it a crisis.
“I don’t see that as a lack of respect. I see it as motivation, which at our age is the thing that needs to keep us alive and kicking, the fact someone doubts us and we have to change their minds. It’s the joy of this sport!
“I have said that if I deserve to be called up and played, then I do, if not, then I don’t. There is a rule in sport, which is that the coach makes his decisions to win, not for any other reason. He wouldn’t pick a player if he didn’t think he was the best option to win.”