22 Goalkeeper Real Sociedad Argentina
2014 has been…
Gerónimo Rulli will play for Argentina in a World Cup. He probably needs a couple of things to fall nicely into place for that to be in 2018 but come 2022, he’ll be the man in the number one shirt for the South American giants, barring his career descending into ruin before then.
Rulli has got everything needed to be a top goalkeeper, including the temperament to install himself as the number one at Estudiantes in the last two years. The same thing hasn’t happened in Spain as yet but with a new manager on the way into the club, we assume his chance will come before the end of the year.
Big and strong Rulli is a really fun goalkeeper to watch. His decision making is still improving but it’s still entertaining to see him use his right leg to deny a striker after dashing off his line to a ball he was never going to get. He actually makes a lot of his saves with his legs although he looks just as convincing doing so as if he put his whole body behind the ball. He is assured in the face of danger.
For now, he’ll be doing his best to stay fresh. Sociedad’s European campaign ended much too early and with it, Rulli was denied a chance to play a string of games in the Europa League.
Since moving from Argentina to Spain (via Uruguay, in a quick transfer that we can only describe as “dodgy” at best), Gerónimo has played just one for Real Sociedad. That came in the final qualifying round for the Europa League against Krasnador. When Rulli left the pitch in the 85th minute with an injury, the tie was quite tight with the Spanish side just needing an away goal. However, their hosts fired in two late goals to win the match and deny Sociedad the chance to blood their new stopper in the less pressing European competition.
Where Iker Casillas blazed a trail at Real Madrid, Thibaut Courtois and David De Gea have proved in recent seasons that it doesn’t hurt anyone to trust in a young goalkeeper as number one. Previously the job of number one was reserved for men comfortably past their 30th birthday, the new breed of athletic and quick goalkeepers with an ability to have the ball at their feet are proving to be quite successful.
Rulli is one of those young, talented goalkeeper. He is an excellent shot stopper, even if such a trait should go without saying of any goalkeeper in the world’s best leagues. Rulli reacts to threatening situations early and uses his big frame to close down angles and narrow the amount of the goal that the forward player can see.
With Real Sociedad having won just one of their opening 10 league games, Rulli may just be the changes needed to liven up their flagging defence.
The 21-year-old has barely played 70 professional games in his career but has already broken a club record at Estudiantes. He and his defence managed to last more than six and a half games without conceding a single goal. All the more impressive given how little first team action he had seen before going on such an impressive run.
He just needs to wait on his chance in La Liga. When that comes, he’ll be another name to be mentioned in the same bracket as Courtois, De Gea, Ter Stegen and Oblak.
"Invariably a new manager will take stock of what he has available, but will make a note of any young players at his disposal; they are that little bit more pliable and less resistant to change after all. If they happen to be very good at their job, as a goalkeeper say, then all the better. Could be a key player for Moyes." - Jeff Livingstone
"In 38 league games last season for Estudiantes, Rulli managed to keep an eye watering 18 clean sheets." - OptaJoe
C+ Prove to Moyes that you deserve the chance
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