Italian football legend Gianluigi Buffon has revealed that he had an offer to join FC Barcelona after he announced his departure from Juventus. However, the FIFA World Cup winning player opted to rejoin his childhood club Parma instead of the Catalan giants.
Any player would have strongly considered a move to such a prominent club as Barcelona, but Buffon said that he decided against it because he did not want to spend most of his time on the bench as a substitute for Barca's current keeper, Marc-Andre ter Stegen.
Instead, he chose to join a club where he will continue to play regular football at a high level. During his presentation at Parma, Marca quoted him as saying: "I had two big offers, but I didn't want to be a substitute again. I was tired of being the second choice."
He then spoke about his second spell mostly as a substitute with the Turin side. "I did it at Juventus because of the link I have with the club, but to be honest I didn't want to do it again, not like the last two years," he said.
It was an emotional comeback for Buffon, who started his career at Parma. He joined the club's youth team in 1991, and debuted in his first senior match with the club in 1995. He then went on to become a Juventus and Italian national team legend.
"I had other interesting offers, even from teams in the Champions League, but the emotional implication [with Parma] made my mind up. That emotion is the only way to keep playing at a high level. I knew Parma could give me something no other team would. I am happy with the affection shown to me. I feel at home. I love it here," he added.
The 43-year-old has signed a two-year deal with Parma, who will be competing in Serie B next season after having just been relegated.