Veteran goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon is set to play his 1,000th senior game on Friday when Italy host Albania in a World Cup qualifier. The 39-year-old will be making his 168th appearance for his country, a 20-year international career which began in October 1997 when he played in a World Cup qualifier against Russia. Buffon has also played 220 times for Parma, the club where he began his career, and 612 games for his current club Juventus who he joined in 2001.
Xabi Alonso revealed that he was close to moving to Arsenal in 2009 but the Gunners fell short of Liverpool's valuation by £3m ($3.74m). The north London club's loss was Real Madrid's gain as the former Reds midfielder went on to enjoy a successful spell at the Spanish capital club before moving to Bayern Munich, where he currently plays. Apart from Arsenal, Italian giants Juventus also made a move to sign Alonso, but offered the same amount as Arsene Wenger's side which was rejected by Liverpool.
As Gonzalo Higuain swapped the city of Naples for Turin last summer, it was a move which brought about mixed emotions from both sides. Napoli were reeling after losing their star striker, and with it came doubt regarding their future title contenders status. For the Bianconeri, they were receiving an established Serie A goalscorer and someone who had experience leading the line in Europe as well. But, for a hefty fee of €90 million, Higuain had some way to go to repay such an investment. Even the most ardent of Juve supporters questioned the valuation. Higuain had been a scoring success pretty much anywhere he had previously been, and had finished the domestic 2015-16 campaign with an astonishing