Why football’s goalkeepers are cheap and unheralded

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FOOTBALL fans have become used to seeing transfer records broken, as Europe’s top clubs have enjoyed a decade of rapid growth in revenues. The latest transfer window, a month-long mid-season affair which closed on February 3rd, offered further proof of a bull market. The teams in Europe’s “big five” leagues, in England, Spain, Germany, France and Italy, spent an unprecedented £815m ($1.15bn) on acquiring new players. The three most expensive transfers ever have all been completed in the last six months. Yet despite this prolonged spree, one long-standing milestone has yet to be passed. The record for the most expensive goalkeeper is still unmoved after 16 years.

That player, Gianluigi Buffon (pictured), is now 40 years old. His €53m ($66m) move to Juventus in 2001 is one of only three goalkeeper purchases among the 200 priciest sales of all time, according to Transfermarkt, a football statistics website. Widely regarded as the greatest goalie of his era, he is one of just five to have a top-three finish in voting for the Ballon…Continue reading

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