Buffon thanks persuasive Conte
© AFP

Juventus captain Gianluigi Buffon is extremely grateful to coach Antonio Conte for persuading him to stay in Turin. The italy goalkeeper considered leaving Juve in the summer of 2011, when there was an offer from Roma on the table, but he elected to remain in Bianconero colours and, thanks to Conte, his decision has paid off.

Buffon told Sky Italia: "After two seventh-placed finishes, my relationship (with Juve) had deteriorated. There were also some doubts among the club's fans as to how I would return (from injury). These are situations that a player wants to change - the only solution was to leave.

"But, as I always say, the destiny of each and everyone of us is already written. Certain events, including the arrival of Antonio Conte, led to my relationship with the club and the president returning to be good again, and it all resulted in me feeling energetic again and wanting to try and win titles."

Since former Juve midfielder Conte left his role with Siena to take control of the Old Lady's first team almost three years ago, Buffon has won two Serie A and lifted two Supercoppa trophies under his supervision. And the 36-year-old keeper, who joined Juve from Parma in 2001, is on course to win two more titles with the Turin outfit this season.

No regrets
I Bianconeri
are closing in on their third straight Scudetto as they lead the Serie A table by eight points from Roma with five games remaining. Juve are also preparing to tackle Benfica in the semi-finals of the UEFA Europa League later this month. "How can I regret not joining Roma when I see how my story with Juventus has unfolded?" Buffon said. "I think that remorse and regrets can only emerge when a decision that one has made proves to be the wrong one.

"My choice to remain at Juve and continue to write the history of a legendary club means there is no room for regrets. Now that I see we are close to winning an historic third straight Scudetto, I realise that my decision was the right one."

 Meanwhile, Juventus will not renew the contract of coach Antonio Conte until the end of the Serie A season. Conte, whose current deal expires in June 2015, is expected to be offered a long-term contract with the Turin giants this summer.

"Juventus are delighted with the work done by Conte," Juve club administrator Giuseppe Marotta said to Gazzetta dello Sport. "He has a contract with us and he is the leader of our group. We have already spoken regarding this matter and we will discuss this issue at the end of the season. We will talk once we have achieved something important, the scudetto and eventually the Europa League title."