What is it with Italy and goalkeepers?
Goalkeepers arrive, inhale the sweet elixir of Italian air and then leave as the world’s most expensive glovesman (we don’t get to use that word enough).
You’ve got to go back to July 1990, when David Seaman moved from QPR to Arsenal, to find the last time the record was broken by a player not leaving Serie A.
(All prices listed courtesy of transfermarkt)
Alisson’s arrival at Liverpool will set a new transfer record and ensure the baton remains in the hands of a Serie A departee.
But how much do you remember about the five record-breaking goalkeepers sandwiched between Alisson and Seaman?
Let’s fill in the blanks.
Luca Marchegiani (moved from Torino to Lazio in July 1993 for £6million)
Six million wouldn’t buy you Salomon Rondon’s right foot these days but in 1993 it made Marchegiani the most expensive goalkeeper in world football.
Marchegiani was coming off the back of a Coppa Italia win when Lazio splashed the cash, adding him to a squad that already contained Alessandro Nesta, Paul Gascoigne and Alen Boksic.
The Italian spent ten years in Romae, lifting the league title, UEFA Super Cup, UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup, two more Coppa Italias and an Italian Super Cup during a heady period for Lazio.
Marchegiani, who won nine caps for Italy and was part of the World Cup squad that finished second at USA ’94, retired from the game after seeing out his career in Chievo. Idyllic.
Sebastien Frey (moved from Cannes to Inter Milan in July 1998 for £12.5million)
Frey left France for Inter Milan, at which point he was instantly relegated to second-choice goalkeeper behind Gianluca Pagliuca.
Training would have been an experience in itself given Inter had Ronaldo, Roberto Baggio and Ivan Zamorano on their books at the time.
Frey would only spend one season as Inter’s no.1 before venturing to Parma, Fiorentina, Genoa and Buraspor, where he retired in 2015.
He finished his career with a Coppa Italia medal as well as two caps for France and is now a devout Buddhist who calls upon Roberto Baggio for spiritual guidance.
Sounds fairly low-key for a goalkeeper.
Angelo Peruzzi (moved from Juventus to Inter Milan in 1999 for £17million)
Inter had a taste for spending big on goalkeepers towards the end on the Nineties. Call it goalkeeping ecstasy.
Peruzzi joined from arch-rivals Juventus but only spent one season in Milan before moving on to Lazio, where he saw out his career with seven seasons in the Eternal City.
The Boar, as he was not-that-affectionately known, won 31 caps for Italy. In any non-Gigi Buffon generation that would have been more than 100 caps.
Francesco Toldo (moved from Fiorentina to Inter Milan in 2001 for £23million)
Inter are addicts. They’re constantly fiending for Italian goalkeeper who aren’t quite as good as Buffon.
In 2001 it was Toldo’s turn to try is luck in net when he left Fiorentina’s near-perfect goalkeeper kit for Inter’s revolving door.
Toldo was no.1 at Inter for four seasons before Julio Cesar relegated him to the bench.
We’d sit on the bench to have a trophy cabinet boasting five consecutive Serie A titles, three Coppa Italias, three Italian Supercups and a Champions League medal.
Gigi Buffon (moved from Parma to Juventus in 2001 for £46million)
Who? Never heard of him.
Wikipedia and Google are no use.
Must have called it a day early. Shame.