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Buffon expected to announce future on Thursday

After another decorated season at Juventus, Italy goalkeeping great Gianluigi Buffon could be poised to call time on his incredible career.

Buffon expected to announce future on Thursday
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Gianluigi Buffon will hold a news conference on Thursday, with the veteran Juventus goalkeeper expected to make an announcement about his future.

The 40-year-old Italy international previously stated he would stop playing at the end of this season, unless Juventus won the Champions League and he had a FIFA Club World Cup campaign to look forward to.

Juve were knocked out in a quarter-final thriller against Real Madrid, with Buffon sent off for a tirade against referee Michael Oliver that continued after the match.

Nevertheless, by the time that Santiago Bernabeu drama came around last month, Buffon had already cast doubt on the expected end of his playing career by suggesting retirement was not guaranteed.

Despite Italy failing to qualify for the 2018 World Cup, the Azzurri great captained his country once more for March's friendly against Argentina in Manchester.

"I can't tell lies or create any false expectations," he told Sky Sport Italia in February. "The truth is I still have to meet with the president, with whom I have a gentleman's agreement, and we will make a definitive decision then.

"The days [after defeat to Sweden in the World Cup playoff] were difficult. I wanted to end my career at the World Cup because I think it would have been the most fitting moment to remember and honour my career. Unfortunately, it didn't work out."

Buffon wrapped up Coppa Italia and Serie A glory with Juventus last week – a fourth consecutive domestic double for Massimiliano Allegri's side.

He has won Serie A on nine occasions and been capped 176 times by Italy.