Juventus 2012-13 Season In Review: The Goalkeepers

Claudio Villa

While the striker position was a revolving door and who started every week seemingly was a guessing game, the same wasn't said about who got the start between the sticks nearly every game for the now-two-time defending Italian champions. For 32 of Juventus' 38 games this season, it was the same man, the same club legend: Gianluigi Buffon.

That's not any kind of surprise. He's No. 1 in our hearts, No. 1 when it comes to jersey numbers. That's pretty convenient.

It's not a surprise either that so much of Juventus' success the past two title-winning season has been because of how the defense has played. How good? This good: Two seasons, two title, just 44 goals allowed. Just for perspective, only four teams in Serie A not named Juventus allowed that many goals this season.

Remember those days when Juventus didn't have a defense and Buffon routinely looked pissed off at the incompetence in front of him as he picked the ball out of the net? Yeah, I choose not to, either.

Gianluigi Buffon - 7

At some point, I start to wonder when San Gigi will slow down and start showing that he's in his mid-30s and nearing the end of what has been an absolutely legendary career. Then I remember it's San Gigi and he's a freak of nature who can probably play until he damn well pleases.

It was another season of Buffon being Buffon, one that saw the greatest goalkeeper of our lifetime finally return Champions League football he has opined for the past few years. His first season as Juve's full-time captain started with him lifting a trophy, the Supercoppa, in Beijing and he ended it lifting the Scudetto in front of a sold out Juventus Stadium in Turin.

For comparison's sake, Buffon's save percentages the last two years are as follows:

2011-12: 82 percent

2012-13: 79 percent

One more save here or there and it's basically the same total in back-to-back years. And to have the number basically be the same when you don't face a lot of shots like he does, it says about how alert you must be at all times. But it's not all that surprising to see that kind of consistency from Buffon, who has just been so good for two straight years — and counting — after one of the most un-Buffon-like seasons you'll see in the 2010-11 campaign.

Buffon finished in the bottom third of the top 20 when it comes saves made this season (75) — four less than had made a year ago — but that's obviously more to do with the dominance Juve's defense had rather than something to the contrary. Some of those saves were spectacular, others were ones he's made thousands of times before in training and official matches. But regardless of how difficult the shot was to stop, he continued to be one of the best there is and ever will be.

His goals against average in 2012-13, 0.59, again setting the pace in Serie A. Just think about his totals from the last two season: 0.43 and 0.59. His total of shutouts this season: 16, again setting the pace in Serie A.

That says it all. He has a great defense in front of him in Barzagli-Bonucci-Chiellini, but it also says a hell of a lot about the way Buffon has played and organized the players in front of him.

Much like last season, this was the Buffon we're so incredibly used to. That, my friends, is something I will never get tired of seeing. And that's the way it should be, dammit. It's Gigi Buffon after all.

Marco Storari - 6

With Buffon shouldering much of the load again, Storari was basically relegated to Coppa Italia duty for the second straight season. But that's really nothing new for him. This is the life he lives as the understudy to one of the greatest goalkeepers to ever play the game. It was the same kind of deal with Buffon being back to full health and because of that, Storari started six league games this season, but half of those came once Juve clinched the Scudetto against Palermo on the first Sunday in May.

And at times, the 36-year-old Storari showed that expected rust after spending long spells on the bench with no game time whatsoever. Other times, it was like the same Storari whose performances garnered the 'best backup keeper in Europe' tag when he first arrived at Juventus.

Still solid. Still showing off a perfectly-cropped five o'clock shadow.

Rubinho - s/v

Of all three keepers, he didn't allow a goal this season. Clearly he's the best of the bunch. Or maybe not.

The unibrow gets a 10 out of 10, though. So there's that.

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