Gianluigi Buffon celebrates after the beating Monaco in the Champions League semi-final. Photo: Reuters / Stefano Rellandini

CARDIFF, Wales – Veteran Juventus goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon says Saturday's Champions League final against Real Madrid will have "special" personal significance as he approaches the end of his storied career.

A world champion with Italy in 2006 and eight-time Serie A winner with Juventus, Buffon finished on the losing side in his two previous Champions League finals in 2003 and 2015.

Now 39, he may never get a better opportunity to claim Europe's biggest prize and he concedes it is a source of extra motivation.

"Probably the emotions I might feel might be different to any other guy who's younger, like Dani (Alves)," said Buffon, gesturing to his team-mate, who was sitting beside him at Friday's pre-game press conference in Cardiff.

"Dani has already won this competition and he has four or five years ahead in his career. I have to rule out this possibility, so yes, it will be much more special for me.

"I still feel like a young boy, even though I'm 39 years old. Tomorrow's match is very important to me.

"People think about my very long career. I've played for Juventus for many, many years. I've got back more than I gave. It would be the perfect finale and people like fairytales."

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