Goalkeepers are transferred for less and paid less. Is it time football finally valued them relative to outfield players?
So arrivederci then, Gianluigi Buffon. Assuming there is no careering handbrake turn away from retirement, the match against Verona on Sunday will prove his last. It seems vaguely astonishing that he made his debut in 1995 – a teenage action hero clad in pink and black for Parma, fearlessly facing down George Weah, Roberto Baggio and the rest of Milan’s all-stars. Nearly 900 games later, he will hang up his Puma One Grips having averaged a trophy for each year of his career.
And along with a World Cup, Uefa Cup, five Italian Cups, six Italian Super Cups, a European Under-21 title and multiple Scudetti, Buffon holds another honour. For he remains the only keeper in the 50 biggest transfers in history according to Transfermarkt (which tracks deals in Euros) – even though his €52m move to Juventus took place 17 years ago.