Gianluigi Buffon Discusses Juventus Transfer, 'Extraordinary' Player Fees

Gianni Verschueren@ReverschPassFeatured ColumnistJanuary 29, 2019

TURIN, ITALY - MAY 19:  Gianluigi Buffon of Juventus FC lifts the Serie A trophy in his last match for the club as he celebrates winning the championship with team-mates at the end of the serie A match between Juventus and Hellas Verona FC at Allianz Stadium on May 19, 2018 in Turin, Italy.  (Photo by Emilio Andreoli/Getty Images)
Emilio Andreoli/Getty Images

Paris Saint-Germain goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon has said Juventus "made one of the best pieces of business in their history" by signing him for a then-record fee, and said such "extraordinary" sums of money can be "intelligent" moves.

The Italian legend moved to Turin from Parma in 2001 for a fee that remained the record for a goalkeeper until the past summer, when Liverpool and Chelsea spent big on Alisson Becker and Kepa Arrizabalaga, respectively.

Darko Vojinovic/Associated Press

Speaking to FourFourTwo (h/t Football Italia) the 41-year-old said history proved Juventus right:

"This is a period in which the sums that teams are spending on players have become extraordinary compared to what they used to be.

"I think of these as very intelligent moves. If we go back to my signing at Juve, the amount of money they spent on me had every critic saying the exact same thing: 'No, you can't pay that much money for a goalkeeper.'

"And, you know, it's right that those conversations happen as well. But in the end, I was at Juventus for 17 years.

"I think that with me, Juve made one of the best pieces of business in their history. If you look at it now, I doubt anyone could disagree with that.

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"Ederson, Kepa and Alisson – all three of them are very young, just as I was young when I went to Juventus.

"So, they assure their new club of this long period of time in which they know they won't need to get another keeper."

Buffon was Juventus' automatic starter for more than a decade and a half, finally leaving the club for PSG last summer. In Turin he became a Bianconeri legend, winning 11 Serie A titles―although two were later revoked due to the Calciopoli scandal.

MASSIMO PINCA/Associated Press

His legend was further enhanced when he stuck with the Bianconeri during the scandal, playing a season in Serie B. Plenty of world-class team-mates, including Ballon d'Or winner Fabio Cannavaro, abandoned ship.

He's still going strong to this day, putting up some incredible numbers during his long career:

The one trophy he never won with the Italian giants is the UEFA Champions League, despite playing a key role in several runs to the final. Perhaps his best chance came during the 2002-03 season when Juventus were without the suspended Pavel Nedved and lost the final to rivals AC Milan on penalties.

After 17 years with the Old Lady, Buffon made the switch to PSG, another Champions League hopeful that is counted among the favourites for the title every year. His farewell at the Allianz Stadium was an emotional one:

At PSG, Buffon has shared time with academy product Alphonse Areola, who has benefitted from the presence of the veteran star. Formerly frequently plagued by mental errors, the 25-year-old has improved dramatically since he started training with his new team-mate.

Buffon has been the main starter in top contests and will likely be so again when Les Parisiens face Manchester United in the Champions League on February 12.