Gianluigi Buffon has penned a personal note to friend Francesco Totti to recognise the 20th anniversary of his first Serie A appearance.
Totti, known for his flair as well as a prolific goals tally, has spent his whole career at Roma – his hometown club.
Buffon’s career has dovetailed with that of Totti’s and the Juventus goalkeeper showed his respect for his former Italy colleague.
“Dear Francesco, you have made history in Italian football,” began the letter published by 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.
“You not only wrote football history, you are writing its present and its near future.”
The pair won the World Cup with Italy in 2006 and Totti retired from international football a year later.
The 36-year-old is Roma’s record goalscorer and the second most lethal in Italian football history.
“The two of us are lucky,” added 35-year-old Buffon.
“Once you get past 30, every season is worth seven.”
Totti made his Serie A debut in 1993 as a substitute against Brescia.