Juventus sign up Buffon's tormentor Mandžukić

Gianluigi Buffon has not come out on top against Mario Mandžukić seven times since 2012, so the goalkeeper will be glad Juventus have sealed a €19m deal for the Croatian.

Mario Mandžukić, Gianluigi Buffon and Giorgio Chiellini earlier this month
Mario Mandžukić, Gianluigi Buffon and Giorgio Chiellini earlier this month ©AFP/Getty Images

If you can't beat them, sign them. That is certainly the case for Juventus when it comes to Mario Mandžukić. Goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon has come up against the Croatian seven times since 2012 and has not been on the victorious side once, conceding three goals to the forward. He will be grateful to be on the same side as the 29-year-old next season, after a four-year contract was agreed as part of an €19m deal that could rise to €21m from Club Atlético de Madrid.

"Turin is a beautiful town, I like it and I like Juve," Mandžukić said on his arrival. "I will give everything as I have always done for my old clubs. This is my new house and I know that Juve have great fans."

After the 1-1 draw in the UEFA EURO 2016 qualifier between Croatia and Italy earlier this month, Buffon and Mandžukić chatted as the teams left the stadium and Italian media were quick to speculate the Juve captain was trying to convince the striker to join the Bianconeri. Now they are indeed on the same side, UEFA.com recalls the duo's previous meetings.

EURO 2012: ITA 1-1 CRO
EURO 2012: ITA 1-1 CRO

Italy 1-1 Croatia, UEFA EURO 2012 group stage, 14 June 2012
After a draw against Spain in their tournament opener, Italy needed a victory against Croatia – who had defeated the Republic of Ireland in their opening game – and took the lead with an Andrea Pirlo free-kick six minutes before half-time. In the second half, however, Danijel Pranjić sent over a deep cross from the left that Mandžukić controlled well to score from a narrow angle off the underside of the bar. Italy did qualify after winning their third game, eventually reaching – and lose – the final against Spain.

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FC Bayern München 2-0 Juventus, UEFA Champions League quarter-final first leg, 2 April 2013
Jupp Heynckes' Bayern completely dominated the Italian champions as David Alaba and Thomas Müller's goals barely did justice to their superiority. Mandžukić was crucial for Bayern's second on 63 minutes as the ball fell to him after Luiz Gustavo's shot from distance bounced awkwardly in front of Buffon who could only parry. The Croatian's smart cut-back found Müller and the forward was in the perfect position to tap in.

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Juventus 0-2 FC Bayern München, UEFA Champions League quarter-final second leg, 10 April 2013
Bayern controlled the game again in Turin and virtually killed the tie in the second half when Mandžukić won a free-kick on the right. Buffon parried Javi Martinez's flick from Bastian Schweinsteiger's free-kick but Mandžukić headed in from close range. Claudio Pizarro wrapped things up with Bayern's second in added time.

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Club Atlético de Madrid 1-0 Juventus, UEFA Champions League group stage, 1 October 2014
In a balanced, hard-fought game in Madrid, Mandžukić kept the Juve defenders constantly busy with his physical power while testing Buffon with a good drive after dispossessing Arturo Vidal on the edge of the box. Arda Turan scored the winner in the second half meeting Juanfran's cross at the back post to beat the Juventus goalkeeper as the Croatian once again came out on top.

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Juventus 0-0 Club Atlético de Madrid, UEFA Champions League group stage, 9 December 2014
Juventus earned the point they needed to progress to the knockout stage alongside Atlético but had to hang on in Turin. Only a wonderful save by Buffon from Koke prevented the Spanish champions from taking an early lead after Mandžukić found the midfielder unmarked on the left. The striker was also crucial by constantly pressing Juve creator Pirlo as the Bianconeri struggled to create opportunities to score.

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Italy 1-1 Croatia, UEFA EURO 2016 qualifying, 16 November 2014
Mandžukić forced Andrea Ranocchia to make a goal-line clearance in added time of the first half as Ivan Perišić cancelled out Antonio Candreva's opener to earn Croatia an important point at San Siro. The visitors, however, certainly felt they could have left Italy with all the three points after a convincing performance.

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Croatia 1-1 Italy, UEFA EURO 2016 qualifying group stage, 12 June 2015
Mandžukić was involved in all the crucial moments of the game. After only six minutes Davide Astori fouled Darijo Srna in the box, but Buffon dived to his right to save Mandzukic's shot from the spot. Soon later the striker scored from close range on Ivan Rakitic's pass. Italy, however, earned a point with a Candreva penalty after Mandžukić handled a Pirlo free-kick in the box.

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