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Gianluigi Buffon compares Juventus transfer target to Diego Maradona

Gianluigi Buffon - Juventus
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The former Bianconeri captain shared his thoughts on the club’s pursuit of Angel Di Maria.

Angel Di Maria could be as influential as the late Argentinian great Diego Maradona in Serie A, according to Gianluigi Buffon.

The 34-year-old winger will leave Paris Saint-Germain at the end of his contract this month, pulling the curtain on a glorious seven-year spell in the French capital.

Juventus have reportedly offered Di Maria a one-year contract and could get a final answer on their proposal from the player this week.

Now Buffon, who played alongside Di Maria in 2018/19 for PSG, has backed Juve’s attempts to sign his former teammate.

“Di Maria in Serie A is like Maradona,” the now-Parma goalkeeper told La Gazzetta dello Sport.

“Footballers must be valued considering where they play. Serie A, today, is technically poorer and Angel has so much technique. He is decisive in front of goal, he dribbles past his opponents. He is good at making assists and runs up and down on the pitch. He can play in different roles.”

‘Age doesn’t matter’

Buffon also dismissed concerns over Di Maria’s age, insisting it shouldn’t be a factor.

“I am 44, but I still play, age doesn’t matter. Motivation and passion are more important and so is determination,” the Italian added. “If Di Maria joins Juventus, it means that he’s ready to do so.

“He is an exemplary professional, one who never gives up and fights during games and training sessions. 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 no one. When he won the Decima [the 10th Champions League title] at [Real] Madrid in 2014, he was playing with Karim Benzema, Cristiano Ronaldo, Luka Modric and Toni Kroos.

“He was always a step back from them but knew how to play as a winger, attacking midfielder, and even ‘Mezzala’ [a wide central midfielder in a diamond or three-man midfield].

“Whoever signs him, and I hope it is Juve, it will be a good deal. We are talking about a champion.”