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Italy legend Buffon wins Serie A best player award

Gianluigi Buffon, Italy's veteran goalkeeper, has won the Serie A Best Player of the Year award, possibly easing some of his World Cup heartache.

Update:
Italy legend Buffon wins Serie A best player award
Pier Marco TaccaGetty Images

Italy's veteran goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon has eased some of his World Cup heartache by winning the Serie A Best Player of the Year award.

Award won but Buffon reflects on World Cup exit 

'I'm happy and proud. I never thought I'd get this kind of trophy, and I'll hold on tight to it because I never won best youngster!' said the 39-year-old Juventus goalkeeper at Monday night's ceremony.

'The failure to participate in the World is the biggest disappointment in my career together with some (lost) Champions League finals.'

Napoli's Maurizio Sarri was named the best coach in the Italian football awards, voted for by the players, for competing for the title with a smaller budget than Juventus.

Every year is unique and unrepeatable. It was also this 2017 with its victories and defeats. In life you never stop aging. I hope to continue to learn.

Buffon quit international football last month as four-time champions Italy sensationally missed out on their first World Cup finals in 60 years after a playoff defeat to Sweden.

'Italy-Sweden was the biggest disappointment of my life,' he told Sky Sports Italia. 'But we need to move on, the season must end in the best way and with Juventus there are so many goals to be achieved.'

Juventus joy amid Italy pain

Buffon won a tenth Serie A title with Juventus and helped the Turin-based side reach the Champions League final for the second time in three years. He also won a third Italian Cup with the Juve. And despite the World Cup setback, he has left the door open on a future return for the national side.

'I've taken a period of rest, I'm getting on, I've always been a soldier signed up for the national side and Juventus, so I can't desert,' he said. 'Even at the age of 60, if there was a dearth of goalkeepers I'd be available because that's how I conceive the idea of a nation.'

It is the sixth straight year that a Juventus player has won the award with Buffon following in the footsteps of Andrea Pirlo (2012- 014), Carlos Tevez (2015) and Leonardo Bonucci (2016).

Juventus' Italian goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon speaks after receiving the "Best player 2017" award at the "Gran Gala del Calcio" Italian Football Association.
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Juventus' Italian goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon speaks after receiving the "Best player 2017" award at the "Gran Gala del Calcio" Italian Football Association.MIGUEL MEDINAAFP

Buffon has said he will retire at the end of this season, unless Juventus win the Champions League title.

The Serie A champions play league leaders Napoli on Friday before a crunch Champions League game next week at Olympiakos when they need a win to guarantee passage into the next round.

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