“Di Maria in Serie A, is Like Maradona,” – Gianluigi Buffon

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By Martin Graham | 22nd Jun 2022

Juventus goalkeeping legend Gianluigi Buffon has talked up the prospect of Angel Di Maria joining the Bianconeri, linking it to having Maradona back in the Serie A.

Di Maria left Paris Saint-Germain after seven seasons, 295 games, 93 goals and 119 assists (the club record). He is currently on the hunt for a new club and Juventus, alongside Barcelona, are the two most prominent offers on his table.

Di Maria has already featured in the Spanish LaLiga before when he played for four years with Real Madrid, winning the LaLiga and the famous ‘La Decima’ UEFA Champions League title, where he put in a man of the match performance in the final. The Serie A and the German Bundesliga are the only top-five leagues he is yet to feature in.

As the talks go on between the Argentine winger and both clubs, Buffon, a Serie A legend who also played with Di Maria in his only stint outside the league, stated that Di Maria’s move to the Italian league will be like Maradona’s move in the early 80s. Buffon believes the move will garner attention for the Serie A just like Diego Maradona did in his time with Napoli.

“Right now, Di Maria in Serie A, is like Maradona, Am I clear?” Buffon said. “Footballers must be valued considering the context where they play. Today Serie A is technically poorer and Angel has so much technique.

“He is decisive in front of goal, he dribbles past his opponents so easily. He is good at delivering assists and runs up and down on the pitch. He can play in different roles. In a few words: he is a football player.”

Buffon recounts his time playing with Di Maria

To further buttress his point about Di Maria being a Maradona in the making if he ends up signing for Juventus, he recounted his experience with the forward. “I am 44, but I still play,” Buffon added. “Age doesn’t matter. Motivation and passion are much more important and the same goes for determination. If Di Maria joins Juventus, it means that he’s ready to do so.

“We are talking of an exemplary professional, a nice guy, one who never gives up and fights during games and training sessions. I repeat, for today’s Serie A, he’d be like Maradona.

“At PSG, I played with Neymar, a young Kylian Mbappe, Marco Verratti, but Di Maria was not inferior to any of them. When he won the Decima at Madrid in 2014, he was playing with Karim Benzema, Cristiano Ronaldo, Luka Modric and Toni Kroos. 

“He was always a step back but knew how to play as a winger, attacking midfielder and even mezzala. Whoever signs him, and I hope it’s Juve, makes a deal. We are talking about a champion and football needs champions.”

Martin Graham is an MFF sports writer

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