Gianluca Pagliuca reckons that Inter’s Samir Handanovic can go on to save more than his record 24 penalties in Serie A.
After denying Luca Toni’s effort from 12 yards in the game drawn on Sunday night with Verona, the Slovenian ‘keeper is on course to surpass Pagliuca’s major achievement in his career.
The former Udinese No 1 has saved 20 penalties during his career so far in the Italian top flight and Pagliuca believes it is only a matter of time until he catches him up.
“I definitely think that he’ll surpass my record,” Pagliuca confessed to Gianluca Di Marzio’s website today.
“He is young and he’s got many years in front of him. What’s more, his average is already superior to mine.
“My number of saves is greater just because of our ages, but he’ll soon surpass me there too.
“After all, records are made to be broken and Handanovic is a fantastic goalkeeper. So, when that happens, it will be a honour to be surpassed.”
Pagliuca also explained how a goalkeeper normally experiences the decisive moment of a penalty and gave out his key factors in saving a shot from the spot.
“A goalkeeper lives that moment in a special way, because he is between the sticks and he has less to lose than the player that takes the penalty.
“Generally speaking though, the opposite is true – when you are there you’ve got the feeling that in 90 per cent of the cases you’ll concede a goal. And this can never be nice. So the most important thing is to be focused and ready.
“Back in my days, there wasn’t all the technology that we have nowadays. And you could watch fewer games, so the studying was limited somehow.
“But now things has changed. Based on my experience though it tended to be instinct more than anything else. I saved just very few of the penalties I had done my homework for.
“The one I remember most fondly about is the one I saved at San Siro to Lothar Matthaus. In fact, that penalty gave Sampdoria the League – it’s impossible to find a better one in terms of importance and memories.
“To be tall is important but it’s not enough. It’s fundamental to be quick and reactive – you’ve got to be ready to dive to the right side but not too much in advance.
“It’s good to be tall but you need to possess those skills too, otherwise you can end up saving only a penalty once in a while.”