At the warm-up, Gianluigi Buffon entered first on the lawn of this stadium San Paolo, which he knows every nook, insensitive to the Neapolitan public who hesitated between greeting and conspiring. For more than twenty years he has been surveying the two repair areas, under the colors of Parma, first, then Juventus Turin.
As of course, the historic captain of Squadra Azzurra was to extend here the thread of his career in the Champions League, interrupted since last spring and his expulsion against Real Madrid with Juve. It was written since the beginning of his Parisian adventure. After his suspension of three games, purged in the first leg, Buffon has returned to the service precisely when his new team needed it the most.
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Was his mere presence enough to reassure his teammates who were in doubt? Tuesday night, he especially proved that he is not only a legend of world football, a kind of timeless tutelary figure. No, at 40, 41 next January, he remains above all an exceptional goalkeeper, decisive in key moments. When taking stock of this phase of hens on December 11, we may remember this series of interventions sometimes miraculous successful by the Italian hands of money at rush hour Napoli.
A festival for six minutes
The festival stretched over six minutes between the 51st and 57th. A first parade on a badge shot to warm the gloves, followed by a tap on a lobed shot of Mertens before a magic deflection on a cover signed Ruiz. He was almost to blot out on his own the hellish pressure exerted by the vice-champions of Italy.
But Buffon could not do anything a few minutes later, following the monumental mistake of Thiago Silva. The Paris goalkeeper came out in disaster and then hit Callejon (63), offering a penalty converted by Insigne, despite a good dive. The day before, he had warned that the most important thing was not to lose in Naples. It looks like he has joined the gesture to the word.
In the same movement, Buffon also settled as the reference goalkeeper PSG. And Alphonse Areola, irreproachable since the beginning of the season, has nothing to do with it. It's just the strength of a legend still alive.