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Gianluigi Buffon delighted to break Paolo Maldini’s record

Gianluigi Buffon, Juventus
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Juventus goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon was “very proud” after breaking Paolo Maldini’s record for the most appearances at club level.

Buffon made his 903rd club appearance during Juventus’ 2-0 win over SPAL on Saturday to eclipse Maldini’s record. He also registered the 406th clean sheet of his career.

The 41-year-old, who started out at Parma in 1995 before enjoying spells with Juventus and Paris Saint-Germain, matched the feat last weekend during a 2-1 Serie A win over Hellas Verona.

But, even for Buffon, taking this new record is something special.

“It’s a great satisfaction,” the Italian told reporters.

“I wasn’t aware I was so close to this record two games ago, I found out at the last game. I was told I had reached Paolo.

“It makes me very happy and very proud, proud for what I did, but as I said to your colleagues, I am happy because I got here not dragging myself, but as a high-level player. That’s what I think I can say without being presumptuous.

“Therefore I also added, earlier on, that I will always thank my parents and my wife, which has been benevolent with me, but I can also say that there’s something of my own in all this.”

Buffon has pulled on the famous black and white jersey of Juventus 657 times throughout his career. He’s also represented Parma 220 times, and made 25 appearances for PSG last season.

Bianconeri boss Maurizio Sarri, meanwhile, praised Cristiano Ronaldo and Paulo Dybala’s performances after beating SPAL in Turin.

The Serie A champions will now turn their focus to Tuesday’s Champions League match with Bayer Leverkusen in Group D.

Paolo Maldini, AC Milan
Sep 1998: Paolo Maldini of AC Milan in action during a match against Fiorentina in Milan, Italy. Mandatory Credit: Allsport UK /Allsport