Juventus captain Gigi Buffon has sent a message to Francesco Totti on the 20th anniversary of the Roma icon’s Serie A debut.
“Dear Francesco, you have made Italian football history,” the custodian said in a statement to news agency ANSA.
“Twenty years in Serie A, what an achievement… I still have the image of your first goal in my mind, it was a Roma-Foggia tie.
“We’re friends, you know how much I care about you. We started together with the Under-15 side, we had some splendid years together in the national team and we continue to meet as opponents in Serie A.
“You often score against me (10 times to be precise, that’s how many goals you have netted) like a champion who has forgotten our friendship…
“Then, at the final whistle, there are smiles between us again, like when I saved a penalty that I feared you would chip – it saddened me that was you.
“We are from a fortunate generation. It’s true that every season after the age of 30 is worth seven, but you seem to go back in time instead of ageing.
“You’ve written the history of Italian football, with the present and the future – you are a player who can not be doubted.
“And, for me, you’ll always be an Azzurro. An embrace from your friend, Gigi.”
Totti, now 36, made his Italian top-flight debut on 28 March 1993 at Brescia. Boss Vujadin Boskov threw him on as a substitute for Ruggiero Rizzitelli.
Totti, Serie A’s second highest goalscorer of all-time, and Buffon won the World Cup together for Italy at Germany 2006.