March 24, 2017 / 11:44 AM / 8 months ago

Buffon set for 1,000th senior game

MILAN (Reuters) - Veteran goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon is set to play his 1,000th senior game on Friday when Italy host Albania in a World Cup qualifier.

Football Soccer - Sampdoria v Juventus - Italian Serie A - Marassi stadium, Genoa, Italy - 19/03/17 - Juventus' goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon celebrates after the goal scored by teammate Juan Cuadrado against Sampdoria. REUTERS/Giorgio Perottino

The 39-year-old will be making his 168th appearance for his country, a 20-year international career which began in October 1997 when he played in a World Cup qualifier against Russia.

Buffon has also played 220 times for Parma, the club where he began his career, and 612 games for his current club Juventus who he joined in 2001.

“It’s a great achievement, I’m happy but I won’t go on to the pitch with different emotions compared to my 999th game,” Buffon told Sky Sport Italia.

“The most exciting games are always the first, whether it’s in Serie A or the national team.

“The only thing I can say is that there won’t be another 1,000 games.”

Writing by Brian Homewood, editing by Ed Osmond

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