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Willy Caballero

BIOGRAPHY

Goalkeeper Willy Caballero joined Chelsea on 1 July 2017 having been out of contract at Manchester City.

He was signed to add strength to our goalkeeper resources following the departure of Asmir Begovic to Bournemouth as he has a wealth of experience at the highest level. He spent the previous three seasons at City, having started his career at Boca Juniors in his native Argentina before playing for Spanish clubs Elche and Malaga.

Caballero moved to the Premier League in the summer of 2014, linking up once again with Manuel Pellegrini, whom he had played under at Malaga.

The highlight of his time at City was the 2016 League Cup final when his heroics during the decisive penalty shoot-out against Liverpool ensured City secured the trophy. Caballero saved three penalties - from Lucas, Philippe Coutinho and Adam Lallana - as his team came out on top at Wembley.

In the 2016/17 season he featured in a memorable 3-1 Champions League win over Barcelona, and made a crucial penalty save from former Chelsea striker Falcao in the first leg of their last-16 knockout tie against Monaco.

Caballero featured regularly towards the end of the campaign, including in City's 2-1 defeat at Stamford Bridge. On that night he saved an Eden Hazard penalty, only for the Belgian to tap home the rebound for what proved to be the winning goal.

In Spain he spent seven years at Elche after leaving Boca Juniors. He became their first-choice goalkeeper for a significant period before making the switch to Malaga in 2011.

Malaga, under the guidance of Pellegrini, achieved a sixth-place finish in 2012/13, helped in no small part by Caballero’s form, and at the end of the following campaign he was nominated for the league’s best goalkeeper award alongside Keylor Navas and his future Chelsea team-mate, Thibaut Courtois, who was on loan at Atletico Madrid.

At international level he was part of the Argentina team which won gold at the 2004 Athens Olympics.

Caballero made his Chelsea debut in September 2017, in a 5-1 Carabao Cup game at home to Nottingham Forest. He was denied a debut clean sheet by a Forest goal right at the end of the game.

It was a pattern that was followed in subsequent wins in the competition against Premier League Everton and Bournemouth, but Caballero did claim a clean sheet in the FA Cup when we drew 0-0 at Norwich. In the replay, having again conceded right at the end of the 90 minutes, the Argentinean was one of the heroes of a penalty shoot-out win.

 

Caballero saves the decisive penalty in the Norwich FA Cup penalty shoot-out

He played his first Premier League game for Chelsea in January 2018, making an outstanding save from a Tomer Hemed header in a 4-0 win at Brighton.

Having been called up to the Argentina squad in March 2018, Caballero then made his debut for the national side at the age of 36 in a 2-0 friendly win over Italy. As well as keeping a clean sheet, the Chelsea 'keeper performed well throughout and made a number of impressive saves.

In the FA Cup semi-final against Southampton, he played an important role in our progress including one great stop when the score was 1-0.