Buffon: From La Dolce Vita to La Belle Vie
For the first time in his long career, Gianluigi Buffon is experiencing life outside of his homeland and the Italian is loving every minute of it.
Speaking to This is Paris, the legendary goalkeeper said: "For me it's been a beautiful experience. I have spent nine months in a stupendous city, a city that welcomed me with affection and warmth. It has been a great pleasure and I am very happy to have made the choice to come here."
"I have learnt quite good French"
At the age of 40, Buffon was ready for something new: "I wanted another footballing experience and a life experience, that could be enriching for me, and I have to say, today, all the reasons for coming here, for making this choice, have been fulfilled, because I have always been curious to confront myself with different worlds, I have always been humble enough to try and learn from different experiences and this has been the case here in Paris. I have learnt quite good French which is something I know will help me in the future and make me a better person, more confident in myself, and this has been very important for me.
"In Paris they leave you more personal space"
"Here in Paris everything is different, the people, if they recognise you or want a photo, they leave you your personal space and that's very nice, you feel comfortable to stay where you are. You have more freedom here, more privacy and I really enjoyed that. In the end, in Italy, people are obsessed with footballers, when they see you in the street, they have to touch you, hug you, they need to become a part of your life. For Italian football fans, you are a member of their family so it becomes harder to live a normal life, for example, going into the centre of town, going for a walk or to a museum, it's almost impossible."
So is La Dolce Vita better than La Belle Vie? "It's different. I honestly believe that in terms of cooking and also wine, Italy and France both excel. You can prefer one or the other, but the quality of eating and drinking is exceptional in France and in Italy.
"I saw a motorcylist with a baguette"
"The bread, the baguette is something that symbolises France and it was very nice the other day I was on the street and I saw a motorcyclist with his baguette and it was special because I imagined a Frenchman must always feel safe and secure when they have their baguette with them: 'I'm going for a ride, but I have my baguette!' It's a good sign!"