Gianluigi Buffon believes he proved to be “one of the best pieces of business in Juventus history” after spending 17 years with the club on the back of a record-breaking transfer.
Back in 2001, the legendary goalkeeper left Parma for Turin in a deal worth 100 billion lire (£32.6m at the time).
His standing as the costliest custodian in world football stood until Ederson moved to Manchester City in 2017 and big-money moves were made by Alisson and Kepa Arrizabalaga in the summer of 2018.
Keepers are now considered to be as important to any given cause as outfield players, hence the spike in asking prices, and Buffon is not surprised by the market inflation.
He is, however, eager to point out that he provided a healthy return on the investment Juve made in him, with over 650 appearances taken in while landing nine Serie A titles and four Coppa Italia crowns.
Buffon told FourFourTwo: “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.”
It remains to be seen whether those now above Buffon on the list of most expensive goalkeepers go on to enjoy similarly successful careers.
Ederson, Alisson and Kepa have all enjoyed positive starts to their time in England and, while in their mid-20s, are expected to provide long-term solutions for Manchester City, Liverpool and Chelsea respectively.
Buffon added on the Premier League class of 2019: “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.
“I think each goalkeeper should be paid according to their value and according to what they know themselves to be worth.
“There are no battles going on between goalkeepers and defenders, goalkeepers and attackers, goalkeepers and midfielders.”
While the stars of tomorrow are busy enhancing their reputations, Buffon is still going strong at 40 years of age having linked up with Ligue 1 champions Paris Saint-Germain on the back of an emotional departure from Juve.