Gianluigi Buffon bravely opens up on battle with depression and panic attacks
Gianluigi Buffon has revealed that he suffered with depression during his time at Juventus
The legendary goalkeeper also explained how a panic attack during his early years with the Serie A side forced him out of a league game.
Buffon spent 17 years with Juventus before moving to Paris Saint-Germain last year and now, in a wide-ranging interview with Vanity Fair, the Italian has opened up about his mental health struggles as a young player with plenty of hype around him.
"For a few months, everything lost meaning," he said.
He added: "It seemed like no-one cared about me, just the footballer I represented.
"It was like everyone was asking about Buffon and nobody about Gigi."
With his 41st birthday approaching, retirement must be in Buffon's thoughts and while he has learned to cope better with the pressure of being one of the most high-profile footballers on the planet in recent years, he really struggled during his mid-twenties
Buffon continued: "I went to Ivano Bordon, the goalkeeper coach, and told him: 'Ivano, get [goalkeeper Antonio] Chimenti to warm up and play. I'm not feeling up to it.'
"I had suffered a panic attack and was in no state to play the match.
"If I had not gone through this experience, that cloud and that turmoil with other people, I may have never have got out of it."
Having escaped that cloud, he went on to win countless trophies, including the World Cup with Italy. He is now at Paris Saint-Germain, where he hopes to finally get his hands on the Champions League trophy which has eluded him throughout his 24-year professional career.