Gianluigi Buffon says Juventus thought they had done ‘everything we needed to win’ as they slumped to defeat in the Champions League final.
One of the greatest goalkeepers of his generation, Buffon tasted defeat in his third Champions League final as the major missing medal from his illustrious career once again slipped out of his grasp on Saturday.
A 4-1 defeat by Real Madrid was tough to take for the 39-year-old who may never get another chance to win European club football’s top prize.
“It’s a big disappointment because we thought we did everything we needed to win,” Buffon said as Real celebrated at the Principality Stadium.
“We had a great first half in which we had Real in trouble. It leaves you with an open mouth, the episodes that never went our way. I cannot explain why we played like we did in the second half.”
Buffon had played in two previous Champions League finals and both times went home as a runner-up, against AC Milan on penalties in Manchester in 2003 and against Barcelona in Berlin two years ago.
Even in his state of bitter disappointment, however, Buffon was able to sum up exactly what is needed to triumph.
“To win this cup you have to be stronger than everything against you. In the second half their class, their strength, their ability to win these challenges was seen and they deservedly won,” he added.
Despite the Champions League evading him once again, Buffon does have an impressive list of accolades from his 22-year career.
At club level, Buffon got off to a winning start in his career, claiming the UEFA Cup and Italian Cup with Parma in 1999 and has won the Serie A title eight times at Juventus.
The decorated goalkeeper also won the World Cup in 2006 with Italy, making up for the disappointment of missing out on their European Championship success in 2000 due to injury.