Bengaluru, Sept. 12: Italian football in the last two years has seen some of the biggest stars of World football arriving and putting the limelight back again on Italy.
Serie A was flushed with money during the 1990s and early 2000s meaning, unlike other leagues, a few of the enormous deals made by Italian clubs were actually well over a decade ago. Juventus and Milan have previously shown they are not afraid to spend the big bucks where necessary but in the early 2010s, the popularity slowly decreased due to sudden emergence of Premier League and La Liga where comparatively more star cast was seen.
But now with the arrival of the likes of Ronaldo, Lukaku and Matthijs de Ligt the league have again started making headlines. We now compile an XI who are the most expensive in their respective positions with a formation of 4-4-2.
Goalkeeper: Gianluigi Buffon - €52m
Regarded as one of the best goalkeepers of all time, Juventus legend Gianluigi Buffon's record move from Parma back in 2001 as world football's most expensive goalkeeper stood for 17 years before being broken last summer by Chelsea's Kepa. He has made over 650 appearances during his legendary 23-year career in Serie A, hoarding an unbelievable 175 caps for Italy as well. He has also been named Serie A goalkeeper of the year a remarkable 11 times since the move, winning nine league titles in the meantime. It is worthy to say now that he was worth every penny.
Right Back: Lilian Thuram €41.5m
Another player who was snapped up by Juventus during their Parma invasion back in 2001. He still remains the most expensive right-back in Serie A history, after making the same switch that Buffon did. He helped the club to two league titles and was regarded amongst the world's finest in his prime. During Juventus' scandal back in 2006 he left the club for Barcelona, where he is also regarded as a legend.
Centre-back: Matthijs de Ligt - €75m
The Dutch defender was most in-demand player of last summer transfer window with PSG, Manchester City, United all fighting to sign him before the Italian champions won the race to sign him. He moved to Juve in a €75m deal, making him the most expensive defender in Serie A history.
Centre-back: Leonardo Bonucci - €42m
After six successive league titles with Juventus, a fall-out with manager Allegri saw him joining rivals AC Milan in a €42m move in 2017, which made him the second-costliest defender in the league. However, his move to the San Siro turned out to be a disappointment and after just one season, last year he returned to Juventus in a swap-deal for Mattia Caldara.
Left-back: Alex Sandro €26m
The former Porto left-back currently holds the record as the costliest left-back in Italian league history after signing for the Champions back in 2015. At that moment the fee looked to be questionable, but after consecutive four league titles and being number one choice in the side for the last four years, undoubtedly he has managed to answer the critics profoundly.
Right-wing: Gaizka Mendieta - €48m
After the departure of Juan Sebastien Veron and Pavel Nedved to Manchester United and Juventus respectively, Lazio made a club-record signing with Spanish midfielder Gaizka Mendieta who was one of the best players that time in La Liga side Valencia and Roma. However, the move turned out to be a disaster as he failed to score in 20 Serie A appearances and was loaned and then sold.
Central midfield: Rui Costa - €43.8m
After seven successful years in Italy with Fiorentina, Milan broke their bank to sign the Portuguese midfielder who later turned out to be one of the best business in Milan's history. He helped the side win the Serie A and the 2003 Champions League, before returning to first club Benfica in 2006.
Central midfield: Joao Mario - €45m
Another Portuguese player who was snapped up by Inter from Sporting Lisbon in the summer of 2016 for a fee worth in the region of €45m. He showed promise at early stages and eventually made 30 Serie A appearances in his debut season but failed to establish himself as a key figure. He since has been shipped out of the side with loan spells, with the player currently plying his ride in Russia with Lokomotiv Moscow.
Left-wing: Cristiano Ronaldo - €112m
Shocking everyone last season, Juventus made impossible possible after landing Madrid superstar for a league record fee. The move was completed due to Juventus's flop at Europe's biggest stage and Ronaldo's tremendous record over there. Although, Juventus made a quarter-final exit last season but the 34-year-old has already impressed in his first season in Italian football. An eighth successive Scudetto was secured with the Portugal international hitting 21 league goals, the 34-year-old being named as Serie A's Most Valuable Player.
Forward: Romelu Lukaku - €80m
Inter broke their bank to land the unsettled Manchester United forward. Antonio Conte earlier tried to sign him in Chelsea only to see him signing for the rivals. But this time around, the Italian side was successful getting their manager's preferred target and he has already been on the scoresheet in consecutive games.
Forward: Gonzalo Higuain - €90m
A record of 71 goals in just 104 league appearances for Napoli made the Italian winners splashing a record fee to sign the prolific Argentine forward, who arguably had one of the best forwards in the league since his move from Real Madrid in 2013. But despite being the highest scorer in the side for two years and helping the side winning two league titles, he was loaned twice, to AC Milan and Chelsea before manager Maurizio Sarri keeping faith in his old servant again this Summer. He now will be hoping to once again score prolifically and win more major silverware reuniting with his former Napoli and Chelsea boss.