17 Years Ago, Gianluigi Buffon Cost A Record €52m And He's Still The Most Expensive Goalkeeper Ever
If you consider inflated transfer fees and the state of modern day football, it's quite extraordinary to think that Gianluigi Buffon is still the most expensive goalkeeper of all time.
In 2001, the massive frame of Edwin Van Der Sar left Turin for the Premier League and days later, Buffon joined Juventus from fellow Italian side Parma on 3 July for €52 million, along with former Parma teammate Lilian Thuram - who went on to become one of the best defenders in their history.
Buffon was named the most expensive goalkeeper of all time. 17 years later, the Italian still holds that remarkable record.
:calendar_spiral:️ 17 years ago, Gianluigi Buffon moved to Juventus for a record €52m...- FourFourTweet (@FourFourTweet) March 17, 2018
:moneybag: To this day he remains the most expensive keeper of all time! pic.twitter.com/WKnkKFf16T
The 40-year-old is arguably one of the best goalkeepers of the past two decades and in the past, Buffon has come up against a number a iconic strikers.
So when he names the toughest opponents he's had it's worth listening.
Having played in Serie A's golden period at the end of the 90s and early 00s, in Juventus' impressive recent run at home and in the Champions League and won the World Cup with Italy the 39 year-old has played against the best in the business.
But who exactly is the best? Speaking to Copa 90, he named the four men who were his toughest opponents saying that Ronaldo, Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Zinedine Zidane would 'get in any team':
In the interview, he says: "I really hate strikers. I'd say the best I've played against are Ronaldo, the Brazilian one, Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. These are the three who... and Zidane. Let's add Zidane. These are the four who would start in any team."
Buffon has also had the pleasure of playing behind some of the world's best defenders and in another interview, named Lilian Thuram, Fabio Cannavaro and Giorgio Chiellini as the best he's played with.
Juve 02/03 is my fav. of all time. Loved everything about it. Buffon in goal. Zambrotta & Thuram owning flanks. Ferrara & Montero destroying strikers. Birth of Camoranesi. Davids 100% pitbull. Tactical Tacchinardi. Ballon d'Or Nedved. ADP + Trez = Love. Led by Lippi. Perfection. pic.twitter.com/VT7JLuQtIL- Tarek Khatib (@ADP1113) March 3, 2018
What a career. What a man. Thank you, Gigi.