Gianluigi Buffon loves Borussia Monchengladbach because of Subbuteo

Gianluigi Buffon is still going strong at the grand old age of 41.

The first choice goalkeeper for French giants Paris St Germain and fresh off the back of a clean sheet at Manchester United’s Old Trafford in the Champions League, he recently celebrated his 41st birthday – where he received an unusual gift.

During an interview with CNN he was presented with a Borussia Monchengladbach shirt despite never appearing for the club. However, he classes himself as a fan of the team because of his love of Subbuteo.

He says: “I have always followed this team enthusiastically because when I was a small boy it was one of the teams I had in my Subbuteo game. Which was a game for kids where you had a green cloth and you would flick the ball with these model players.

“And I liked the team because of their colour and thought the shirt was very beautiful and as a kid I found it impossible to pronounce Monchengladbach so I’ve always really liked this team.”

The World Cup winner has always been a big fan of Subbuteo, even appearing in an advert for the game in Italy, where the game is still thriving.

German club Borussia Monchengladbach first appeared in Subbuteo in 1973 as reference 132. The team has white socks, shorts and shirt with a green and black stripe down the left side of the jersey.

In the newer lightweight Subbuteo period a new Borussia Monchengladbach team was created with reference number 766. This team has a black and green striped shirt, white shorts and white socks to match the kit of the time.

The original team is a rare one and it currently listed for over £100 on several eBay lots. Cheaper, more modern versions of the team are also available in the form of the La Leggenda range, which was launched in the 2000s to celebrate some of the greatest club sides in history.