These players were specialists in stopping spot-kicks.

Over the years, Serie A has seen some of the finest goalkeepers in the sport. Many of them have played crucial roles in their team’s success. Some became well-known for their point-blank saves. While others rose to fame as great penalty-stoppers. They rescued their clubs on countless occasions by saving a goal-bound shot from 12 yards.

Strikers are fancied to convert every penalty-kick they take. The chances of scoring are very high in these situations. However, there are few goalkeepers who have the knack of guessing the right way. This helps them save the strike and keep the ball out of the net.

Let’s take a look at the top five goalkeepers with the most penalty saves in Serie A.

5. Luca Marchegiani (21)

Marchegiani was world’s most expensive keeper in 1993 (Courtesy: Dieci Football Entertainment)

The Italian is one of the best goalkeepers to ever play in the Serie A. He dominated the league in the 1990s and early 2000s. Luca Marchegiani’s best spells came with SS Lazio and Torino in the competition.

Luca Marchegiani helped Torino seal promotion to the first division. He won the Copa Italia with them as well. The Ancona-born player was one of the best of his era. Lazio signed him in 1993 from Torino. This made him the most expensive goalkeeper in the world. He won the league and UEFA Cup with them.

Marchegiani’s fame was justified. He was one of the best penalty-stoppers in the league. The keeper faced 67 spot-kicks in his Serie A career, saving 21 of them.

4. Andrea Consigli (22)

The 35-year-old played most of his career with mid-table teams. He began his Serie A career with Atalanta and now plays for Sassuolo.

Andrea Consigli has been a constant presence for Sassuolo since signing. He has played a crucial role in their recent success. The keeper has faced 74 penalties in his career, saving 22 of them.

3. Gianluigi Buffon (22)

He has won 10 Serie A titles (Courtesy: Eurosport)

Arguably the greatest Italian goalkeeper of all-time, Gianluigi Buffon is next on the list. The Florence-born footballer has the most appearances in Serie A. His longevity has been one of his best traits. Buffon has played over 700 professional games in his club career.

Gianluigi Buffon played for Parma and Juventus in the league. He won the league 10 times with the Bianconeri, a record. Throughout his career, the keeper faced a number of a penalty-kicks and he came out on top on several occasions.

The Italian faced 74 penalties in his Serie A career. He saved 22 of them.

2. Gianluca Pagliuca (31)

One of the best of his generation, the Italian played for four clubs in Serie A. he won numerous domestic and continental titles. His best spell came with Sampdoria. Pagliuca also played for Inter Milan, Bologna and Ascoli in the league.

Gianluca Pagliuca has the fifth-most appearances in Serie A history. He is the second-best penalty-stopper in the history of the league. The keeper saved 24 spot-kicks from the 91 he faced.

1. Samir Handanovic (32)

The Slovenian is one of the best goalkeepers in the league’s history. He made a name for himself with his penalty saves. The keeper is regarded as one of the best stoppers from 12 yards. Handanovic faced 90 penalties, saving 32 of them.

Samir Handanovic also holds the record for saving the most penalties in a single season. He saved six spot-kicks in the 2010-11 campaign.

His best spell in Serie A came with Inter Milan. The Slovenian has currently made 360 league appearances, winning the league once. He also played for Udinese in the competition. He has been also named in the Team of the Season on three occasions.

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