Italian Serie A News, Results, Analysis and Features on Football Soccer

SerieAWeekly On June - 20 - 2011

Team Of The Season Winners: Goalkeeper

All week we will be unveiling the winners of our Team of the Year voting with a mixture of regular and guest writers. Here’s the first entry, courtesy of the excellent Danny Penza.

For much of his career, Christian Abbiati played second fiddle to a number a different goalkeepers. Right or wrong, Abbiati rarely got consistent minutes in goal as a starter.

Furthermore, the goalkeeping position for Milan had basically been a revolving door for the past couple of seasons, leaving people to wonder how long it would take for the directors to make it a top priority in the transfer market.

For both the player and club, that is no longer the case.

The 33-year-old Abbiati not only took the starting goalkeeping gig by the throat, but was one of the many standouts in a Scudetto-winning campaign for the Rossoneri. His saves were crucial, keeping shutouts in tact, enabling his team to end the match with three points rather just one.

How good was he?

Abbiati led Serie A in goals against average — and it wasn’t even close. His 0.54 GAA was nearly half of the man who finished second, Napoli’s Morgan De Sanctis.

Even further proof of how good Abbiati was in goal for Milan:  He allowed 19 goals the entire season. He recorded 18 clean sheets. And compared to De Sanctis, who finished second with 17 shutouts, Abbiati did it in 400 fewer minutes.

His success this past season gained plenty of recognition  — including that of the Serie A Weekly readers, voting him the Goalkeeper of the Year. And much like his overwhelming victory for the goals against crown, the margin of victory for Abbiati was equally convincing, taking 60 percent of the vote (the next closest, De Sanctis, was second with 15 percent).

One thing is certain — we all know who Milan’s starting keeper will be next season.

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