Salvatore Sirigu is behind Gianluigi Donnarumma in Roberto Mancini’s pecking order, but Lorenzo Bettoni argues his experience can be crucial in tournaments like the Euros.
The last season was not as good as Salvatore Sirigu would expect.
Torino conceded 69 goals in Serie A and the former PSG goalkeeper wasn’t always up to the task.
Second-choice goalkeeper Vanja Milinković-Savić even started a few games in 2020-21 after a few mistakes from the former Palermo shot-stopper who, however, regained his starting spot pretty quickly.
One of the reasons why Sirigu has received a lot of criticism during the last campaign, perhaps, is because he had set the bar too high in the previous seasons.
He often resulted as one of the best Torino players along with captain Andrea Belotti.
Think that Torino conceded 68 goals in 38 Serie A games in 2019-20 and despite that, he was named the best player of the season by the Granata fans.
Despite Gianluigi Buffon’s international retirement, the school of Italian goalkeeper is still flourishing. Sirigu has joined Gigio Donnarumma, Alex Meret and Alessio Cragno in Roberto Mancini’s provisional squad for Euro 2020. The 34-year-old played nine of his 26 games with Italy under Mancini, who is expected to pick him ahead of Cragno or Meret.
Sirigu can provide that touch of experience in a dressing room full of many young players. Although Donnarumma is Italy’s starting goalkeeper, Sirigu can be both a valuable replacement but, most importantly, a point of reference inside the dressing room.
Every little detail can make the difference in a one-month tournament, such as the Euros, and Sirigu could be more than a mere backup goalkeeper.
Two years younger than Azzurri captain Giorgio Chiellini, Sirigu is the second-oldest player in the Azzurri squad, followed by Leonardo Bonucci, Francesco Acerbi and Ciro Immobile.
He made his senior Italy debut 11 years ago, aged 23, under Cesare Prandelli and has two Italy caps in international tournaments.
He replaced Gianluigi Buffon in Italy’s first game of the 2104 World Cup group stage, in the Azzurri’s 2-1 win over England.
Two years later, he played the third Euro 2016 group stage game with the Azzurri who had already qualified to the last-16 stage.
The Euros give him the possibility of adding one more piece of silverware to a trophy cabinet filled with 13 titles won with PSG.
You may not see him too often on the pitch during the Euros, but you’ll surely hear his voice from the sidelines.