The game of musical chairs when it comes to Juventus' backup goalkeeper position has been officially conducted and finished in quick order, and the result is Juventus having a new No. 2 keeper for the first time since the 2010-11 season.
After Marco Storari completed his anticipated move to Cagliari earlier in the day, Juventus announced Friday evening that former Fiorentina goalkeeper Neto has signed with the club on a free transfer and will be Gianluigi Buffon's backup next season. The 25-year-old Brazilian put pen to paper on a four-year contract worth a reported €2.2 million a season, according to Tuttosport earlier in the day.
Here's the official announcement in writing, courtesy of Juventus' new-look website:
Norberto Murara Neto has officially completed his move to Juventus, penning a four-year contract that keeps him with the club until 30 June 2019.
The Brazilian goalkeeper, 25, joins following four and a half seasons with Fiorentina where he displayed the credentials which have led the Bianconeri to recruit him as Gigi Buffon's deputy.
You may be telling yourself, "Oh, well it's a backup goalkeeper, so no worries, right?" But Storari's shoes are going to be big ones to fill for the young Brazilian. Storari's five-year stint at Juventus was impressive despite the fact that outside of his first season at the club, he didn't play all that much at all outside of the occasional Serie A appearance and Coppa Italia duty. Thus is the life as the man playing behind Buffon, the greatest of all time.
Neto boasts two years worth of experience as Fiorentina's starting goalkeeper. Despite La Viola having a rocky reaction to Neto's announcement that he won't be signing a new contract with the club, he appeared in 29 Serie A games last season, finishing in a tie for fifth with 10 clean sheets. He also appeared in seven of Fiorentina's Europa League matches, so it's not like he arrives in Turin with not much experience even though he's still relatively young.
Welcome, Neto. And thank you, Marco Storari. The backup goalkeeper job is far from an easy one, and Storari excelled at it. Let's hope that Neto can come close to replicating what Storari did — both on the field and in the locker room.