Buffon blew €20 million in bid to save Italian jobs

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Juventus and Italy 'keeper Gianluigi Buffon reportedly sank €20 million of his own money into an Italian textiles company to save its workers from losing their jobs. Photo: Christina Quicler/AFP
07:29 CET+01:00
Italy's World Cup-winning goalkeeper, Gianluigi Buffon, reportedly lost €20 million after investing in an Italian textileS company in order to save its workers from losing their jobs.

The 37-year-old Juventus star first invested in the home textiles company, Zucchi, in 2009 – taking a two percent stake in the historic brand.

Buffon stated that his intention was to “relaunch the company and with it a piece of the Italian economy,” La Stampa reported.

But the veteran goalkeeper's investment soon found itself in trouble.

In 2011 the company's profits drastically fell. But rather than sell his small stake in the stricken company, he reportedly invested over €20 million of his own money in a series of capital investments in order to try to prevent the company's 1000 workers from losing their jobs.

In doing so Buffon's stake in Zucchi slowly increased from two percent to 11, then to 19 and finally by 2014, he owned 56.3 percent. But the company was still facing failure with debts of over €85 million.

The Italy star's investment may have been an economic disaster but it did manage to keep the wolf from the door for long enough.

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In October the company was sold to French creditors Astrance Capital, with Buffon's safe hands retaining a 15 percent minority stake.

According to sports website Sportstardom, Buffon was the 13th richest footballer in 2015 and has an estimated net worth of €66 million.

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