MILAN - It’s a prestigious landmark and one that few can boast of. Against Lazio, Samir Handanovic made his 500th appearance in Serie A. It’s an impressive total, with the story beginning over 15 years ago.
Samir Handanovic made his Serie A debut for Udinese on 15 May 2005 in a 1-1 draw against Sampdoria.
That was the day which would send the Slovenian goalkeeper, who was born in Ljubljana on 14 July 1984, on a journey which would see him eventually arrive at Inter in 2012. After making three appearances for Udinese in the 2004/5 season, Handanovic played three times for Treviso the following campaign. A brief spell at Lazio, where he played once, followed before a campaign with Rimini in Serie B. After that, he earned the starting spot at Udinese and held it for five seasons.
In the summer of 2012, he joined Inter to follow in the footsteps of Julio Cesar. This is the Slovenian’s ninth campaign with the Nerazzurri. The captain has never finished a season at Inter with fewer than 35 appearances to his name. In the 2017/18 campaign, he conceded only 30 goals in 38 matches. In the 2018/19 season, he was recognised as the Best Goalkeeper in Serie A after keeping 17 clean sheets. In 500 Serie A appearances, Handanovic has gone unbeaten on 173 occasions.
Handanovic holds the record for the number of penalties saved in Serie A: 25 in 499 matches, one more than former Nerazzurri man Gianluca Pagliuca (24 in 592 games). The current Inter captain can also boast at having kept out the most spot-kicks in a single Serie A season: six as an Udinese player in 2010/11.
Handanovic’s 500th match in Serie A sees him draw level with Ciro Ferrara in 14th place in the all-time appearance ranking in the Italian top flight. Buffon (653) is currently leading the way, ahead of Paolo Maldini and Francesco Totti.
When only non-Italian players are considered, Handanovic is second in the all-time Serie A appearance ranking: only Javier Zanetti (615 Inter matches, putting him in fourth place when all players are taken into account) is ahead of him.
Handanovic has now played 314 times for Inter in the league and on 374 occasions in all competitions.
SAMIR HANDANOVIC'S 500 SERIE A APPEARANCES
- Inter 314
- Udinese 182
- Treviso 3
- Lazio 1