Bruno Fernandes congratulates Sampdoria goalkeeper Falcone

Sampdoria goalkeeper Wladimiro Falcone has gone from eternal understudy to first choice and he received a touching message of congratulations from ex-teammate Bruno Fernandes, now at Manchester United.

Falcone came up through the Samp youth academy and went out on several loan spells before settling back in Genoa as second choice behind Emil Audero.

Following Audero’s injury, Falcone took his opportunity with a string of great performances, making eight appearances this season between Serie A and the Coppa Italia.

Now Audero has recovered, Falcone remains the first choice for new coach Marco Giampaolo.

The 26-year-old received messages of congratulations on Instagram, including from his former teammate Bruno Fernandes.

“You’ve worked hard and you waited for your moment in silence, always humble, now you deserve everything that you are achieving,” wrote the Portugal international midfielder.

Falcone now has only eight career appearances in Serie A, the Italian top flight.

Bruno Fernandes first came to Italy with Udinese in 2013, playing for Sampdoria in the 2016-17 campaign.

He was sold to Sporting CP for €9.7m in 2017, rising to a stunning €63m to Manchester United in January 2020.

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