“You either die a hero, or you live long enough to see yourself become the villain”
Is such a cliched movie line, and one that has been used a lot to make an analogy to sports, that to be honest I’m almost embarrassed to employ it myself. But because the subject matters it applies to may come as such a surprise to some readers, especially to those who follow Serie A in just a casual manner, I decided to go ahead and pull the trigger.
The idea that one of the most famous lines from “Dark Knight” would apply to Gianluigi Buffon may seem rather odd to those who don’t follow the day to day controversies that fuel the Serie A news cycle. After all, how could the keeper who many consider to be the best of all time, someone who went to Italy’s second division right after winning the World Cup as a protagonist mainly out of loyalty to his club, and the same guy who belts out the national anthem with as much passion and gravitas as Whitney Houston at the 1991 Super Bowl, be considered a bad guy?
While to the vast majority of Juventus fans, Buffon is a once in a lifetime type of icon and a very worthy successor to Alessanro del Piero as the club’s captain mainly because of his human qualities, quite a few fans of other teams see someone who loves to grand stand, an older keeper who has worn out his welcome on the national team, and possibly a cheater because of his lack of (supposed) sportsmanship on the “goal di Muntari” episode.
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