Italy goalkeeping legend Gianluigi Buffon has signed a one-year deal with Paris Saint-Germain, becoming the seventh Italian player to wear the capital club's colours.
Paris Saint-Germain's first recruit of the summer transfer window is an absolute doozy: Italy and Juventus legend Gianluigi Buffon, 40, who on Friday put pen to paper on a one-year deal with an option for a supplementary year.
The legendary 'keeper has a record 176 appearances for Italy in the 21 years since he debuted against Russia as a 19-year-old back in 1997. He won the 2006 World Cup with the Squadra Azzurra while with Juventus he won 11 Serie A titles and a number of domestic cups - but European glory, notably the UEFA Champions League - eluded him with La Signora Vecchia.
Fourth Italian player since 2011
In the Paris Saint-Germain dressing room, Buffon will rub shoulders with Marco Verratti, his Italy teammate since 2012. The diminutive midfielder made his debut for La Nazionale a few days after signing for Paris. Other than Verratti, Buffon will also be in contact with the recently retired Thiago Motta. Born in Brazil, the former Italy international just called time on his playing career at the capital club after joining form Inter back in 2012. A few months before Thiago Motta, it was Salvatore Sirigu who became the first Italian recruit of Paris' Qatari era, when recruitment was helmed by sporting director Leonardo. The Sardinian 'keeper was number one at the lcub between 2011 and 2015 before a season as second-choice and then another campaign loaned out in Spain.
Among the other Italians to have worn the red and blue, Marco Simone is particularly notable. Recruited from Ac Milan in 1997, the striker played two seasons in the capital, scoring 30 goals including 22 in Ligue 1 Conforama. The player who sports a Batman tattoo on his arm also won the Coupe de France, the Coupe de la Ligue and the Trophée de Champions with PSG before signing for AS Monaco.
The club's first two Italians were actually naturalised Frenchmen when they played for PSG: Albert Poli, who joined the capital club for the 1974-75 season after playing most of his career with Angers SCO; and midfielder Armando Bianchi, who signed for Rouen in 1978 and played for Paris for two seasons before being loaned out to Nîmes Olympique. In terms of coaches, Carlo Ancelotti remains the only Italian to have helmed the capital club - form the end of 2011 to the summer of 2013.