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Buffon's new experience in Paris

Publish on 04/05/2019 at 00:00 - S. WILLIS

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Gianluigi Buffon is a legend of the modern game, with a long and illustrious career, but this season the 41 year-old has experienced something new with Paris Saint-Germain.

Buffon has been forced to share the goalkeeping duties at the Parc des Princes with a fellow World Cup-winner in Alphonse Aréola, and the Italian has turned it into a positive experience for himself and the rest of the squad.

"This year has definitely been something different, something I wasn't used to, but something I happily accepted," Buffon told This Is Paris on beIN Sports.

"I happily accepted it because I'm a person that loves being a part of the group with the other guys, always trying to convey positivity and I have to say that with Alphonse, (Sébastien) Cibois and Thomas, we have created a really great working unit, with friendship and admiration, and I think that is our greatest victory as goalkeepers.

"Alphonse is a great goalkeeper who has a great future because he has outstanding qualities and I hope in some way I have done my bit to help him."

Pleasantly surprised

Buffon and Paris were crowned French champions with six matches to spare this season. It was an eighth consecutive league title for the former Juventus 'keeper who revealed the key to his incredible success.

"Winning takes a lot of mental and physical energy, to keep working well, to keep finding the right answers, to keep playing well, that not everyone is capable of, and it doesn't do it justice to say: they won the league because they are the strongest, they won games because they are the strongest. No! You win because, for sure we are the strongest, but because in each of us there is a professionalism and a pride that we give to the service of the team throughout the weeks of training and in each and every game.

"I have to say that this year I have been surprised by the standard of this championship, because when you don't play here, you maybe think there's Paris and that's it, but I can say, in Ligue 1 I have seen Lille, Lyon, Rennes and also Strasbourg in the league who I think would all do very well in Serie A."

European 'regrets'

PSG certainly haven't had it all their own way domestically this season, losing to Lyon and Lille in the league, crashing out of the Coupe de la Ligue to Guingamp and losing the Coupe de France final against Rennes.

Yet the biggest disappointment of all came in Europe, where PSG again exited the Champions League at the last-16 stage, this time against Manchester United.

"I think we can really have some regrets because this year, in my opinion, our squad had the potential and the capacity to go all the way, of this I'm convinced. The match we played was not a match that we deserved to lose. Honestly this match is very hard to explain, because I lost 3-1 and I don't know how I did, it's really very hard to explain."

He added: "I think we made mistakes and certainly, if we have another situation like this in the future, we won't make the same mistakes."