Home Analysis #13 – Samir Handanovic

#13 – Samir Handanovic

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In our countdown of the Top 20 Inter players in the last 20 years, we recognise title winning goalkeeper Samir Handanovic in 13th spot.

Handanovic nicknamed Batmanovic for being able to save the day through one of Inter’s darkest ever periods in their history.

In total, Handanovic has made 392 appearances for Inter (and counting), making him the second most for a goalkeeper in Inter’s history behind Walter Zenga.

Let’s look a bit further into Handanovic’s Inter career.

Big shoes to fill –

Inter replaced Julio Cesar with Handanovic to start the 2012/13 season. It was a massive ask for Handanovic, as Cesar had won 15 trophies including the Triplete in 2009/10.

The season which Samir signed, Inter had one of their worst seasons in history. Unable to qualify for European football as they finished 9th on the ladder. It wasn’t the best of years statistically for Handanovic either who only managed 9 clean sheets thus ranking him 15th in Serie A for clean sheets.

Although, on a personal level he was still named in the Serie A Team of the Year. I can’t imagine where Inter would’ve placed without Batmanovic in-between the sticks.

The next year would be a massive improvement for Handanovic, and we were finally starting to see the same goalkeeper who signed from Udinese. Samir was able to keep 16 clean sheets and place Inter 5th almost single-handedly.

Handanovic will always be compared to Julio Cesar, and I think with the teams Handanovic has played with, he’s done a phenomenal job. It’s hard to compare players from different eras, but Samir will go down as an Inter legend!

Dark knight – 

As mentioned earlier, we have nicknamed our captain Batmanovic. He always saved the day for Inter and was the one shining light in teams full of rubbish.

Since the 2012/13 season, Handanovic has had to endure some tough times and I’m sure he had thoughts of going elsewhere throughout his Inter career. A credit to himself that he stayed loyal and has been working hard to get this Inter side back on top.

Handanovic is a true leader both on and off the field. This is shown through past players having nothing but praise for Samir. I don’t think I’ve ever heard or seen a bad word spoken in the media when referring to Handanovic’s character.

Before taking the captaincy, the Inter sides he played for finished 9th, 5th, 8th, 4th, 7th and 4th in the 6 seasons. Since Handanovic took over the captaincy, Inter have finished 4th, 2nd and 1st in the 3 seasons following.

A great team doesn’t always finish high on the table if the leadership of the team isn’t solid. With Handanovic as captain, we have seen calmness on the field, and the results show this.

We know that Handanovic is now coming to the end of his career, but he has been fantastic since joining Inter. At the moment, far too many mistakes are creeping in but this happens to everyone. The same happened to Julio Cesar and Toldo too.

Thank you for being a role model and always being someone we are proud of. We appreciate everything you have done for our beloved club.

Bizarre statistic – 

Even though Handanovic has been excellent throughout his career, he seemed to be an unlucky charm to the clubs he’s played for. In his entire career before the 2020/21 season, he had never actually won a trophy with any club.

It was up to 500+ Serie A games without a Serie A title. This made him one of the highest on the list to never win a Scudetto.

I believe the only players above Handanovic was;
– Silvio Piola (537 appearances from 1929-1954)
– Alberto Gilardino (514 appearances from 1999-2018).
Interesting fact, both the previously mentioned players didn’t win a Scudetto but they each won a World Cup with Italy.

Fortunately, the Inter side he was apart of last season (2020/21) broke his drought and was able to secure the 19th Serie A title in Inter’s history. Il Capitano Samir Handanovic raising that trophy at the end of the season and in the process gaining his well deserved first title.

Who’s next?

We will be visiting number 12 next on our countdown. Who would you like to see in that number 12 spot for the Top 20 Inter players in the past 20 years?

As always Forza Inter!