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Aspiring Padova look to former Roma starlet to keep their promotion hopes in safe hands

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By Andrew Harding

Monday 26 September 2011

It is happening more often that Italian players are leaving the peninsula to improve their game with the purpose of returning to the world of Calcio as a player of proven ability. One such player who tried such a move is Ivan Pelizzoli, but his is a story of pitfalls rather than success to date.

Tipped as a future international at a young age, Pelizzoli appeared to have all the attributes required for a top-class goalkeeper. Moving from his hometown club Atalanta, where he had learnt his trade, to Roma appeared to be one of ambition and after spending a short time behind Francesco Antonioli in the pecking order, Pelizzoli broke through and didn’t look back with an assured consistency that only added to the hype he was surrounded with. However, it appeared this may have got too much for the Bergamasch goalkeeper as a run of mistakes saw him drop down the pecking order behind Carlo Zotti and Gianluca Curci.

Pelizzoli then moved on to Reggina and began to show encouraging signs before opting to leave the peninsula and sign for Lokomotiv Moscow. His international chances had already diminished after the end of his time at Roma but it appeared that he completely disappeared off the Calcio radar with his move to Russia. It might have been different had he had a good spell there but his time in Moscow was a real disappointment and it had dealt a massive blow to his reputation upon his return to the peninsula when loaned back to struggling Serie B side Albinoleffe at the start of the 09/10 season.

His spell at Albinoleffe proved interesting viewing as he initially seemed to struggle to adapt to the rigours of Italian football but showed a resiliency he had not demonstrated before in terms of learning from his mistakes. With the positive signs of adaptation came hope for the former Roma goalkeeper that he might earn a return to Serie A and soon enough he arrived at Cagliari at the start of last season. The spell at Cagliari did not really do much for him as he spent it as a reserve making only one league appeareance. This season however he is back in Serie B and the no.1 choice at aspiring Padova.

Padova were very close to returning to Serie A themselves last season but were beaten in the play-offs by Novara. This season i Biacnoscudati have started well and currently top the Serie B table despite losing their attacking focal point Stephan El Shaarawy, who went back to Genoa, and then on to Milan in the summer. Moving to them has presented Pelizzoli with an ideal opportunity to earn a return to the top-flight on merit. It appears too late for him to reach the levels that were thought possible when arrived in Rome in 2001 but now at the age of 30, a place as a respectable goalkeeper in Serie A is not out of his reach.

It looks to be setting up for an exciting season in the second tier of Italian football and Padova are showing enough signs to encourage supporters to dream of i Biancoscudati returning to the top-flight. Ivan Pelizzoli will be hoping to play a key role in such aspirations not just for the club but for himself too.

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