Crystal Palace legend Julian Speroni will leave the club at the end of this season after almost 15 years.
The Argentine shot-stopper has been at Selhurst Park since 2004 and has overseen promotions, relegations, administrations and the club’s longest period in the top-flight.
South American turned south London legend: Five things you need to know…
- Julian Speroni signed for Crystal Palace from Scottish outfit Dundee in 2004 for a transfer fee of £750,000.
- The 39-year-old has made 405 appearances for the Eagles, the most by a goalkeeper for the club.
- He is also the fourth highest appearance holder in total, behind Jim Cannon (663), Terry Long (480) and Albert Harry (440).
- He has kept a club record 112 clean sheets.
- Speroni has also won four Crystal Palace ‘Player of the Season’ awards.
The future of Speroni was announced on Thursday afternoon with his contract expiring at the end of the 2018/19 season. Club chairman Steve Parish thanked the shot-stopper for his years of service, insisting that he is a true club legend.
Parish said: “Julian has devoted the best 15 years of his playing career to our club, and will go down in the record books – but perhaps more importantly, will be remembered as a true club legend by all Palace fans and everyone at the club.
“You just don’t get many people like Julian in elite football any more – he is a model professional, ultra-committed, immensely loyal, and has set impeccable standards to his team-mates down the years.
“His contribution to this club cannot be overstated, and we will be eternally grateful for his service.”
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Key moments for Speroni
After making a blunder on his debut against Everton in 2004, few would have expected Speroni to go on to become an all-time legend in south London.
However, the Argentinian found his way back into the starting eleven and became a massive part of Crystal Palace’s future, making excellent saves thanks to his genuinely flawless agility.
Standout moments include sticking with the side through administration, drawing 2-2 with Sheffield Wednesday on the last day of the Championship season, a result which sent Wednesday down and kept Palace in business.
Three playoff clean sheets in 2013 saw the Eagles edge past both arch rivals Brighton & Hove Albion and Watford to secure their return to the top-flight.
Entering their seventh successive campaign in the Premier League, Speroni’s place in the line-up has long gone but his legacy will always remain.