Gianluigi Buffon says his motivation is to continue proving he belongs at the highest level and wants people to be sad when he eventually ends his playing career.
The Juventus goalkeeper was in fine form as his side won 2-0 away to Monaco, taking full control of their Champions League semi-final tie.
It was Buffon’s sixth consecutive clean sheet in the competition – a club record – with saves from Kylian Mbappe, Radamel Falcao and substitute Valere Germain proving vital.
And the 39-year-old insists it his cementing his reputation that drives his continued success, rather than hopes of winning the Ballon d’Or.
“In every game I want to show that I deserve to play at this level despite my age,” he told UEFA after the match.
“I work hard every day for this objective. The day I quit, I want people to be sad about it.
“I don’t know if I am achieving it or not, but playing in a team like this undoubtedly helps. The important thing is to be ready when the team needs me. As long as I can do that, I consider myself satisfied and happy.
“It [winning the Ballon d’Or] is not something I think about, nor do I miss having it. I spend so much energy to keep myself in shape and perform well in these games, to be of use to my team-mates.”
— JuventusFC (@juventusfcen) May 3, 2017
Buffon felt Juve approached the match perfectly as they took a huge step towards reaching a second final in three years.
“We played a great game, exactly the game that we needed to survive with a clean sheet at Monaco because they have a great attack,” he said.
“If you don’t have this solidity, but also the quality when attacking, it would all be more complicated.
“We said after the Barcelona tie that we want to improve day by day. We are close to our objective and it would be naive not to work as hard as possible now.”