Hellas Verona goalkeeper Rafael happy hard work paid off after saving Alessandro Diamanti's penaltyJuventus' Roberto Pereyra scores past Hellas Verona's goalkeeper Rafael during their Serie A match at Juventus Stadium on 18th January, 2015
Hellas Verona goalkeeper Rafael was happy to see his research pay off after he saved Alessandro Diamanti’s penalty in Monday’s 1-0 win over Fiorentina.
The stopper conceded the spot kick by fouling forward Alberto Gilardino on 67 minutes, but redeemed himself with a smart stop to his left that denied Diamanti.
The save was a vital contribution to helping Verona securing the win, with midfielder Mounir Obbadi, who pounced on a mistake by Fiorentina goalkeeper Neto, striking the decisive blow in the 90th minute.
Speaking after the contest, Rafael was pleased that Verona were able to win, but also pointed out that he studied penalties in the build up to the match and was satisfied to see his diligence rewarded.
“We came to score points, and we had the right mindset,” he told Sky Sport Italia, as reported by website Football Italia.
“This is a very important three points for us, you have to play with the right mindset in Serie A.
“The penalty save? I studied penalties in the last few days and luckily I was able to save it. It’s a great satisfaction, it means that if you work hard, you get to play.
“I dedicate this to my team-mates, and to the fans who have travelled here.”
Rafael has been with Verona since they signed him from São Bento in July 2008. The 33 year-old has made over 200 appearances for the club, but this season has come under pressure from Francesco Benussi for his starting berth.