Juventus and Italy captain Gianluigi Buffon said he will continue playing as long as he remains motivated to “suffer” and “fight”.
At the age of 40, Buffon is poised to make a pivotal decision in his life, with retirement on the horizon, though the veteran is yet to finalise his plans beyond the season.
Buffon – regarded as one of the all-time greats – appeared set to call it quits following the World Cup in Russia, which Italy sensationally failed to qualify for.
But speaking ahead of Juve’s rescheduled Serie A clash with Atalanta on Wednesday, Buffon said: “Motivation is everything.
“As long as I want to suffer, to fight, I’ll continue. After the passion that motivated me in my first years, I set myself the goal of having a challenge, to always fight for a bigger objective.
“I’ll need to see – together with the club – what energy level I’ll have and whether I can continue or not.
“What makes me happy is the fact that, whatever my future will be, I feel very serene and gratified for what my career has been, and for what I think I’ve given to Juventus, Parma, the national team and all of football.
“I know I have always worked with extreme seriousness and unselfishness, putting the good of the group ahead of my own.”
Reigning Italian champions Juve are one point clear of rivals Napoli with a game in hand.