Serie A is known for being home to some of the world’s best goalkeepers; Gianluigi Buffon, Gianluigi Donnarumma and Samir Handanovic to name just a few.
This season, Italy’s stoppers have been as good as ever, all vying for the crown of the best goalkeeper in the country.
But one question remains: what is the Serie A save of the season? This week Ryan Elliott has brought you a mouth-watering top 10 to delve into.
10) Samir Handanovic (Internazionale) vs Cagliari
Kicking off our list is one of the world’s most underrated goalkeepers. The big Slovenian’s consistently excellent performances year in, year out have earned him plenty of praise in Italy, but a lack of European football has not helped the 33-year-old get the recognition he deserves on these shores.
Handanovic’s cat-like speed and positioning are both superb for this stop, somehow keeping out this effort from just a couple of yards out.
9) Marco Sportiello (Fiorentina) vs Atalanta
This may ‘only’ be a penalty save, but it’s not just any other penalty save.
The penalty is hit very hard, right into the bottom corner by Alejandro Gómez – who would have been delighted with the connection and direction of the spot-kick – only to find his effort brilliantly kept out by Fiorentina’s on-loan keeper.
What has impressed us most is not just the fact that Sportiello got to the ball in the first place, it’s the strength of his hand to divert it wide. We have seen so many penalty’s where goalkeepers get a hand on it and it still flies into the corner. Not this time.
8) Alisson (Roma) vs Sampdoria
Enjoying a phenomenal debut season as Roma number one, it’s no surprise Brazilian stopper Alisson is being courted by Liverpool and other European giants.
This save against Sampdoria shows what Alisson is all about. He makes himself big for the original stop, then shows lightning speed to get up and smother the attacker before he can tap-in.
7) Albano Bizarri (Udinese) vs Cagliari
Though he is at the ripe old age of 40, Bizarri’s reflexes and agility are still as sharp as ever. Having strangely loaned out their number one – Greek international Orestis Karnezis – to Watford at the start of the season, Udinese acquired the services of the veteran Argentinian for this campaign.
He is good value for our top 10 list, brilliantly tipping wide low to his left.
6) Antonio Mirante (Bologna) vs Torino
Things are getting good now…
The free-kick is from a fair distance out – but Mirante has so much distance to cover – tipping this excellent effort onto the post at full stretch.
His original save is fantastic, and probably still worthy of a place on our list, but his follow-up block is equally as important, and moves him up a few places. Phenomenal stuff.
5) Mattia Perin (Genoa) vs Sassuolo
Another incredibly highly-rated goalkeeper, Mattia Perin is well-worth a place in our top five.
This save is just pure instinct. Pure reactions.
It’s hard to see just how Perin manages to get a hand up in time to push over the bar. This is one of the many reasons why Perin is Gianluigi Donnarumma’s closest challenger to Italy’s future number one.
4) Alisson (Roma) vs Internazionale
The only custodian to make it onto the list twice, it’s saves like this why Alisson is Brazil’s number one going into the World Cup, ahead of Manchester City’s Ederson.
There’s something so innately satisfying with a goalkeeper diverting a shot onto the post with their fingertips, and this save is absolutely no different.
From little more than six yards out, Mauro Icardi gets a decent connection on the ball, only to see his effort thwarted by a fantastic goalkeeper.
3) Thomas Strakosha (Lazio) vs Hellas Verona
This save defies belief every time you look at it. With the free-kick in mid-air, it seems inevitable it will catch out the young Albanian and fly in.
Instead, Strakosha claws the ball out from behind him, showing remarkable hand strength.
Despite making into our top three, Strakosha isn’t the highest rated Albanian on this list…
2) Etrit Berisha (Atalanta) vs SPAL
Coming in at number two is this wonder-save from Albania and Atalanta’s first-choice goalkeeper Etrit Berisha.
This save is simple amazing. It may not be as flashy as some previous entries, but it just seems impossible that Berisha can get down in time and get a hand on the shot.
But he does, and it earns him the runner-up spot on our list.
1) Gianluigi Donnarumma (AC Milan) vs Napoli
Oh. My. Word.
In the dying seconds of a match, with the score goalless, against a team desperately chasing the Scudetto and you find yourself face-to-face with Arkadiusz Milik just a few yards out.
There are no words to describe how mind-blowing this save is, so we will spare you of any more.
Sit back and enjoy your Serie A save of the season.
Follow Ryan on Twitter: @RyanEJourno