Since 1996 the pair have been involved at the top level, and in the quarter-final of the Champions League they will meet yet again, likely for the final time, David G. Medina writes for the Marca.
Opponents in Seria A: “Zidane arrived in Turin in 1996 whilst Buffon was just making his mark with Parma, the first meeting between the two was settled by a Zidane own-goal in Parma’s favour.”
Time at Juve: “The pair were then teammates in Turin for five days until Florentino Perez broke the world transfer record in July 2001 to secure the signing of Zidane, whilst Juventus reinvested the money in the Italian stopper.”
First Champions League meeting: “Not even two full years would pass from that moment before the duo would meet again in the Champions League, on this occasion it was the Italian giants who would book their place in the Old Trafford showpiece at the expense of Los Blancos. Andriy Shevchenko’s penalty condemned Juventus to a shootout defeat, the first of Buffon’s final heartaches.”
The World Cup final: “Berlin then played host to Zidane and Buffon’s most famous encounter, one which the Frenchman remembers with shame. The World Cup final of 2006 was a pulsating affair, one which Buffon’s Italy came out on top in, although, only after the current Los Blancos coach was shown a straight red card in his final ever professional match for headbutting Materazzi. Many often forget, but Zidane actually scored a wonderful Panenka penalty past the veteran goalkeeper earlier in that match.”
Cardiff: “Following the Frenchman’s retirement, it took 11 years for the duo to become reacquainted, it came in Cardiff in the 2017 CL final. After two previous final defeats, it finally seemed as though the former Parma keeper would finally get his hands on the trophy, especially given Juve’s incredible defensive record that season. For one reason or another, Allegri’s charges collapsed in spectacular fashion, leaving the Turin club devastated and setting up this last-chance-saloon tie for the iconic keeper.”