Salvatore Sirigu (Italian pronunciation: [salvaˈtoːre ˈsiːriɡu]; Sardinian: [saɾβaˈðɔɾe ˈziɾiɣu]) born 12 January 1987) is an Italian professional footballer who plays as a goalkeeper for Torino and the Italy national team.
He began his career with Venezia, and then Palermo. In 2011, he moved to Paris Saint-Germain. Twice voted the Ligue 1 Goalkeeper of the Year, his honours at the club include four consecutive league titles, and all four domestic competitions in both the 2014–15 and 2015–16 seasons. After spending the 2016–17 season on loan to Sevilla and Osasuna, he was signed by Torino in 2017.
Since 2010 Sirigu has been a regular member of the Italian national team, and was selected for major tournaments such as UEFA Euro 2012, the 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup, 2014 FIFA World Cup and UEFA Euro 2016.
Sirigu with Italy in 2015
|Full name||Salvatore Sirigu|
|Date of birth||12 January 1987|
|Place of birth||Nuoro, Italy|
|Height||1.92 m (6 ft 4 in)|
|2007–2008||→ Cremonese (loan)||19||(0)|
|2008–2009||→ Ancona (loan)||15||(0)|
|2016–2017||→ Sevilla (loan)||2||(0)|
|2017||→ Osasuna (loan)||18||(0)|
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 20 August 2018|
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 1 June 2018
Born in Nuoro, Sardinia, Italy, Sirigu started his football career in Venezia's youth system playing as a midfielder. He was known for his powerful back heels which he used to take penalty kicks. He had been training as an attacker for a local amateur side, Puri e Forti, at 11 years old, when coaches concluded that his asthma condition would hinder him too much as an outfield player. Instead, observing Sirigu’s unusually large hands, they told him to have a go in goal.
In 2002, he joined Palermo's youth system. In the 2006–07 season made his debut as a starter in a Coppa Italia match against Sampdoria and a UEFA Cup match against Fenerbahçe. Palermo loaned him to Serie C1 club Cremonese on 12 July 2007 to gain some first team experience.
He spent the 2008–09 season on loan to Serie B side Ancona, but only played 15 games with his club, as Ancona managers Francesco Monaco, and later Sandro Salvioni preferred Brazilian Da Costa over him.
Sirigu successively returned to Palermo as a second-choice keeper, behind new signing Rubinho, for the 2009–10 season. Following a string of unimpressive performances by Rubinho, Palermo coach Walter Zenga, himself a former goalkeeper who was noted for his ability, moved Sirigu in the starting role for the Week 6 game, an away match against Davide Ballardini's Lazio on 27 September 2009. The game, which also represented Sirigu's official debut in the Italian Serie A, ended in a 1–1 draw, with the young goalkeeper being nominated Man of the Match due to his numerous saves throughout the match. He was subsequently confirmed for the following game, where Sirigu managed to keep a clean sheet in a 2–0 win against Serie A giants Juventus. Since then, Sirigu was regularly featured in the starting line-up and permanently confirmed as first-choice goalkeeper, leading the club to send Rubinho out on loan to Livorno later in January. Due to his performance during his time at Palermo, Sirigu earned the nickname "Walterino", a reference to his coach Walter Zenga, who is regarded as one of the greatest goalkeepers of all time.
On 21 October 2009, Palermo announced to have agreed a contract extension with him, the new contract would have expired in June 2014. His final appearance for Palermo came in the 2011 Coppa Italia Final against Internazionale at Rome's Stadio Olimpico, a 3–1 loss.
On 28 July 2011, Sirigu signed a four-year contract with French club Paris Saint-Germain for a transfer fee of €3.895 million. Although initially signed as reserve for Nicolas Douchez, Sirigu started all 38 Ligue 1 matches during his first season at the club as PSG finished as runners-up to Montpellier HSC.
On 27 January 2013, Sirigu broke Bernard Lama's clean-sheet record for a PSG goalkeeper in Ligue 1 (697 minutes). He became the first foreign player to be named UNFP's goalkeeper of the season as PSG won the 2012–13 Ligue 1 championship. Sirigu won the award for the second consecutive year in 2014, with PSG defending their league title and winning the Coupe de la Ligue.
On 2 August 2014, as PSG won the Trophée des Champions 2–0 against Guingamp at the Workers Stadium in Beijing, Sirigu saved a 32nd-minute penalty kick from Mustapha Yatabaré. He signed a contract extension on 10 September of the same year, lasting until 2018. Sirigu remained PSG's first choice goalkeeper in the 2014–15 season for Ligue 1 and UEFA Champions League matches, as the capital club won a domestic treble of the league championship, Coupe de France and Coupe de la Ligue, as well as reaching the quarter-finals of the Champions League.
After PSG completed the signing of German goalkeeper Kevin Trapp from Eintracht Frankfurt in July 2015, deputy sporting director Olivier Letang announced that the club "would not stand in [Sirigu's] way" if he wished to leave Paris. However, the player's agent denied that the player would leave the club. Sirigu remained PSG's first choice goalkeeper in the Coupe de France and Coupe de la Ligue, winning both titles, with Trapp taking his place as the preferred choice in Ligue 1 and UEFA Champions League matches. On 12 February 2016, he announced that he would have left PSG during the previous winter transfer window if "an important proposal had arrived", but ultimately remained with the club for the remainder of the season.
On 26 August 2016, Sirigu joined La Liga club Sevilla FC on a season-long loan. He made his debut with the club in a 1–1 away draw against Eibar on 17 September. A week later, away to Athletic Bilbao, he was sent off for elbowing Aritz Aduriz, leaving midfielder Vicente Iborra to unsuccessfully face the former's penalty in a 3–1 loss.
Sirigu had international experience at the youth level with the Under-18 and Under-19 teams.
On 21 August 2007 he made his debut with the Italy U-21 squad under manager Pierluigi Casiraghi, in a 2–1 friendly win against France held in La Spezia, coming on as a second half substitute for Andrea Consigli. He took part at the 2009 UEFA European Under-21 Championship as the back up of starter Consigli.
On 28 February 2010 he received his first call-up for the Italian national team by manager Marcello Lippi for a friendly game versus Cameroon to be played at Stade Louis II, Monaco, but did not play, as Federico Marchetti was chosen to start. In May, he was included in Lippi's 28-man provisional 2010 FIFA World Cup squad, but was not included in the 23-man final squad for the tournament.
Upon Cesare Prandelli taking the helm as national coach, Sirigu was named in his first squad list for the friendly against Côte d'Ivoire. He made his international debut in that game losing 1–0, on 10 August 2010. On 3 September, on his second cap, he played his first competitive match, a 2–1 away win against Estonia for Euro 2012 qualifying. He was eventually selected to go to UEFA Euro 2012 as the third choice keeper of the Italian team, behind Gianluigi Buffon and Morgan De Sanctis; he did not feature in the tournament as Italy reached the final.
For the 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup he was selected as the second choice keeper behind Buffon. Shortly before the tournament, on 31 May, he kept his first international clean sheet as Italy beat San Marino 4–0 in a friendly in Bologna. In the final tournament, he once again did not feature as Italy finished in third place.
Sirigu was selected by Prandelli as his second-choice goalkeeper for the 2014 FIFA World Cup. However, prior to the tournament, the usual starter and captain Buffon received an ankle injury during training and Sirigu played the opening group game against England in Manaus on 14 June. He made several decisive saves which contributed to the 2–1 Italian victory. Buffon returned to the first team for the remaining two group games against Costa Rica and Uruguay, which Italy both lost 1–0, and as a result, Italy were eliminated in the first round of the tournament.
On 31 May 2016, Sirigu was included in Antonio Conte's 23-man Italy squad for UEFA Euro 2016. Due to a bout of fever suffered by starting keeper Buffon, Sirigu made his only appearance of the tournament on 22 June, in his nation's final group match, a 1–0 defeat to the Republic of Ireland. Italy were eliminated from the tournament in the quarter-finals, following a penalty shoot-out loss against Germany.
Regarded as one of the best Italian goalkeepers of his generation, Sirigu has long been considered as the possible 'heir-apparent' of Gianluigi Buffon as Italy's first-choice goalkeeper, due to his consistency, physical strength, composure, strong mentality, explosive reflexes, and shot-stopping ability between the posts. Although he was frequently compared to Zenga in his youth, his former manager at Cremonese, Emiliano Mondonico, compared him to Dino Zoff because of his calm character under pressure. Former Italy goalkeeper Angelo Peruzzi has also praised Sirigu for his goalkeeping technique and ability to come off his line quickly to collect the ball.
|Club||Season||League||Cup [nb 1]||League Cup||Europe||Other||Total|
|Italy national team|