Guglielmo Vicario, the rampart of Empoli (1/6)

They are more or less young, experienced or novice, famous or unknown to the general public, they make Serie A one of the most fascinating championships in the world. While the eyes are riveted on the great stables, Calciomio is interested in the heroes in the shadows who make the charm of the football of this country, far from the spotlight but, for the tifosi, close to the heart, in search of these protagonists as indisputable as they are unexpected. Scorers, goalkeepers or defenders, they are the surprise of the start of the championship and it is time to honor them, in this first episode, place for the promoted Empoli, little thumb to the big goalkeeper: Guglielmo Vicario.

Patience is a virtue

When he enters one of the best training centers in Italy, the dream of a Serie A climb lulls the daily life of the calciatore. If by chance he is Italian and that in addition to crampons he puts on gloves, it is a whole heritage that weighs on his shoulders. Thus, Guglielmo Vicario, who trained with the U19 Udinese including Scuffet and Meret, made his ranges in Serie D. He quickly married the Venezia project and played a full season contributing in particular to the promotion of the club.

This is where things get complicated, while he had gained a certain maturity, the keys to the Venetian cage are no longer entrusted to him (Filippo Inzaghi preferring the older Facchin to him), in 2015/16, he barely counts 2 appearances in the championship. The club is promoted again and this time Vicario plays Audero’s sidekick. It’s hard, but the following year will be the year of renewal. After Inzaghi, Vicario finds the grounds to the point of even catching the eye of his future coach, a guy who knows a bit about goalkeepers, Walter Zenga. His confidence makes him feel good, he achieves 4 clean-sheets and stops 2 penalties, on Pazzini and Nestorovski (not beginners). Venezia did not have an exemplary season but was rescued for the benefit of Palermo, the time for Vicario to take care of his window and it was Cagliari who knocked on his door.

The big leagues

From dilettante championships to elitist green lawns in just a handful of years, it’s a story that commands respect. Cagliari offers him a contract until 2024 offering him to cut his teeth before actually competing with Cragno, the young Italian accepts and makes his Serie A debut on April 11, 2021, Genoa and Empoli are already tearing it off.

It is finally Empoli who will get his ticket (a loan of 2M €). Here, things finally make sense. The young man definitely forgets Serie B and launches into the deep end with the promoted blue and white, an improvised wedding that quickly turns into love at first sight. If the Tuscan defense (less experienced) concedes a lot of goals, the new kid is an undisputed bulwark, allowing Empoli to touch the top of the Serie A ranking. Since his arrival, the goalkeeper shines brightly. After only 2 days he already allowed himself to disgust Juventus, annihilating the attempts of Chiesa and Cuadrado and contributing to the victory of his people on Turin soil, personal exploits coming to crown a collective exploit: it is the beginning of a beautiful story. Sassuolo, Bologna, even Cagliari, all are breaking their teeth on the young Vicario who does honor to a discipline that is not taken lightly in Italy. Tall and agile, he stands out for his reflexes, his footwork and his ability to search for balls on the ground. He has 44 saves, more than any other goalkeeper in the championship after just 13 days. Novice, you said?

His loan ends in 2022 and Cagliari could already rub his hands. It remains to be seen whether the adrenaline of a rise in a major division will eventually wear off, a challenge that Vicario, guided by his dreams and ambition, appears ready to take on. In any case this year, it will be necessary to count on him!

Read also :

1. Guglielmo Vicario
2. To be continued …

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