The services of Gianluigi Buffon and Giorgio Chiellini have been retained well beyond this season after Juventus signed the pair to long-term contracts on Thursday.
Both players, whose contracts were set to expire after this season, will be at the tail-end of their careers by the conclusion of their new deals; Buffon, the team's captain, will be 39 when his contract concludes in 2017. Chiellini will be 34 when his deal ends in 2018.
The club legends made their deals official during a news conference with Juventus president Andrea Agnelli.
"These are two people who were in heaven and experienced hell before taking Juventus back to heaven," Agnelli said on the team's website, in reference to the pair's commitment to the club during 2006 Italian match-fixing scandal that saw Juventus and other teams receive stern punishments, including relegation to the lower tier.
“They embody the values that set Juventus apart: work ethic, determination to never give in and the awareness that only one result counts – victory," he said. "I don’t just share the same goals with these two, we also share the same dreams."
After expressing his pleasure with the decision to join Juventus 14 years ago from Parma and the fondness he has for Chiellini, Buffon talked about the easy decision to remain with the Bianconeri for another two years.
“As both parties wished to continue, it was the natural choice to extend my contract for another two years," he said "The fact that it could very well be my last contract was a factor, but I’m not worried about that: I feel energised. I want to continue performing to a high level, so that I can be an asset and a point of reference for the club.”
Cheillini, who joined the club in 2005 from Fiorentina, talked about the daunting task of being so far from his hometown and how the move helped him grow as an individual.
"Today I’m looking back and thinking about all the people over the past ten years who have helped me grow and feel at home here. I’ve become a man at this club and in this city," Cheillini told reporters. "Leaving Tuscany and being far away from my family was traumatic to begin with, but everyone here made me feel increasingly at ease."
Feature photo courtesy of Reuters