Gianluigi Buffon, an ex-teammate of Angel Di Maria, believes he will have the same influence on Serie A as Diego Maradona when he joins Juventus as a free agent.
Gianluigi Buffon, a legendary Italian goalkeeper, has predicted that Angel Di Maria will have the same influence in Serie A as Diego Maradona.
The only times Napoli saw league success were when Maradona, largely considered as the finest player of his period, led the team to two Serie A championships after joining from Barcelona in 1984.
After his contract with Paris Saint-Germain ended, Di Maria is ready to sign with Juventus as a free agent and play in Italy for the first time in his career. The former Manchester United playmaker may have the same influence in Italy as his native countryman Maradona, according to his former PSG colleague Buffon, who is still competing at the age of 44 for Serie B outfit Parma.
According to Buffon, Di Maria would provide Italian football’s top division a much-needed boost in technical attacking ability: “Right now, Di Maria in Serie A, is like Maradona. Is that clear?
“Footballers must be viewed in light of the context in which they compete,” Buffon continued. Serie A is less technically sophisticated today, yet Angel is so skilled.
He makes quick decisions in front of goal and has little trouble dribbling past defenders. He goes up and down the field and is skilled at providing assists. He is capable of playing several parts. He is a football player, to put it briefly.
Gianluigi Buffon said that he was 10 years older than Di Maria and was still playing when asked if Di Maria’s senior age of 34 would be a disadvantage. He then added that “age does not matter.” The goalie asserted that “inspiration and passion” are far more crucial components of success at the highest level.
We’re talking about an outstanding professional, a wonderful man, who never gives up and spars during matches and practices, Buffon continued. He would be like Maradona for the Serie A of today, I reiterate. I had the opportunity to play with Neymar, a teenage Kylian Mbappe, and Marco Verratti at PSG, but Di Maria was equal to all of them.
He was on the field alongside Karim Benzema, Cristiano Ronaldo, Luka Modric, and Toni Kroos in 2014 as Real Madrid won the Decima 10th Champions League title. He could play as a winger, offensive midfielder, or even a mezzala, but he was always one step behind. He strikes a deal with whoever signs him, and I hope it’s Juventus. Football needs champions, and we’re talking about one here.
During his seven-year stay in the French city, Di Maria, who signed from Manchester United in 2015, boasted a high offensive output. Di Maria played in 294 games for Les Parisiens, making 92 goals and 118 direct goal assists, the latter of which is a club record for a single player.
The Argentine won 14 significant trophies with the team, including five league crowns, but is looking for greener pastures after the club declined to extend his contract. The playmaker is reportedly in advanced negotiations with Juventus before joining the team for free, although he is likely to demand a big salary and signing-on fee. Di Maria is capable of performing at the highest level despite his age of 34.
While his goal total decreased after the 2020–21 season, Di Maria has remained a key player of the team despite scoring 82 goals in his first five seasons in the French city. After a difficult season at United, his move to the Parc des Princes has been hailed as a major triumph.
Before joining United, where he never felt at home under former manager Louis van Gaal, the Argentinean played a significant part in Real Madrid’s 2014 Champions League victory, earning Man of the Match honors in the final victory over Atletico Madrid. Before leaving the club after less than a year, Di Maria scored four goals in 32 appearances.
In 803 appearances for his senior teams and 24 goals in 121 Argentina caps, Di Maria has scored 177 goals overall.