Though it’s been fewer than 18 months since his Crystal Palace debut, Vicente Guaita has already accrued his fair share of memorable Palace performances to look back on.
Introducing himself at Selhurst Park with a world-class denial of Leicester City’s Jamie Vardy that still lives long in the memory, it’s been clear from the beginning that the VG highlight-reel would one day make for very easy viewing.
But in the face of a number special moments, Palace’s No.31 remains hopeful that the best is still in the pipeline.
“To pick out just one match or one save is difficult. I hope that a 'match of my dreams' is still ahead of me, even though there are so many good matches I remember,” he explains.
“Most recently we had our win against Brighton [& Hove Albion]. We won against [Manchester] City at the Etihad last season. We also beat Arsenal last season - that was a fantastic match at a great stadium against a great team.”
They’re fantastic memories - and wins that would change the course of any player’s career - but for Guaita they're just as formative as the moments that will never make the ‘best of Vicente Guaita’ compilation videos.
“You could easily say to me ‘What about the game against Leicester when you first played for Palace in the league?’ And yes, that was a great match, I made a great save, we won three points and then went on to win at [Manchester] City; but I even see the games that I didn’t play in as hugely important. I remember the cup games, where my way of helping the team was from the bench.
"Every match has its merit.”
It's the sort of elite mentality you’d come to expect from a ‘keeper whose performances have only gone from strength to strength in the Premier League. That being said, with a La Liga stint under his belt that included a penalty save against Lionel Messi and clean sheets against Barcelona, Real Madrid and Atlético Madrid, you’d forgive Vicente for holding on to a few precious memories from Spain.
“I look back fondly at the matches when I first started playing for Valencia, and at the time I had at Getafe. I had great support there and saw my time there as a job well done. I definitely have really good memories of going up with Getafe and playing in the Champions League for Valencia.”
But VG remains determined that his career will not be defined by his past.
“It’s true that I’ve had a lot of matches that I can look back on every now and then and say ‘wow I remember that save’ or ‘I remember that goal I conceded’, but I try and remember as much as I possibly can about every match, then learn and look forward.
“I hope that the match that changes my life is still to come.”