Guglielmo Vicario has been part of Tottenham's success in the new season
Guglielmo Vicario arrived at Tottenham Hotspur this past summer with much fanfare. The Italian goalkeeper was highly regarded in his home country, with many considering him the heir apparent to legends like Gianluigi Buffon.
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From Venezia to Perugia
At 27, Vicario was entering the prime of his career. He had honed his skills playing for clubs across Italy's divisions, from Venezia to Perugia. Empoli coach Paolo Zanetti described Vicario as «among the top three» keepers in Serie A, praising his skill and humility.
Indeed, Vicario's warm personality endeared him to fans at each club. In Perugia, he would call season ticket holders during the pandemic to check on their wellbeing. His likeability matched his talent between the sticks.
By the time he joined Empoli, Vicario had transformed from a "tall and wiry" prospect to an athletic and aggressive shot-stopper. He led Serie A in saves during his first season with the club. Vicario added refined footwork to his game under coach Aurelio Andreazzoli, becoming a complete, modern keeper.
Vicario's heroics did not go unnoticed abroad. Tottenham manager Antonio Conte swooped in to sign the Italian, searching for an upgrade in goal. Vicario was overjoyed at the opportunity, saying he «would have signed in blood» to join Spurs.
Successes in England
The move has paid dividends already. Vicario leads the Premier League in save percentage, backstopping Tottenham's charge up the table. After early doubts about his ability to adapt from Serie A, Vicario has proven a perfect fit in North London.
His seamless transition is no surprise given Vicario's mentality. As his former coaches emphasized, he is a humble student of the game, always seeking to improve his skills. Vicario studies the games of current greats like Thibaut Courtois, but grew up idolizing Italian legend Gianluigi Buffon.
Fans see Vicario the gates of the Italian national team
Vicario's standout performances have prompted calls for him to start for the Italian national team. A recent poll showed 68% of fans want him to replace Gianluigi Donnarumma in net.
Yet Vicario remains focused on his club duties. At just 27, Guglielmo Vicario has already realized many of his childhood dreams. But if his journey so far is any indication, the humble Italian has only just begun to tap into his vast potential. Tottenham knew what they were getting in Vicario: a talented shot-stopper and model teammate.