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Carlo to spurs

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Posted on: Mon 26 Jan 2009

Chelsea can confirm that Carlo Cudicini has today signed for Tottenham Hotspur on a free transfer.

The club would like to take this opportunity to thank Carlo for his years of service and wish him well.

Chelsea's Player of the Year in 2002 was the club's second longest-server before his departure.

Along with John Terry, Carlo's arrival on the Stamford Bridge first team scene dates back to Gianluca Vialli's time in charge, the keeper's fellow Italian accepting a tip-off when searching for a back-up to then number one goalie Ed de Goey.

The son of a famous and revered AC Milan keeper, Carlo was rebuilding his career after injury and the then 25-year-old arrived in London from the Italian lower divisions in 1999, initially on-loan for a year.

After learning the English game well in the reserves, he was rewarded the next summer with a permanent switch, the transfer fee a bargain £160,000.

When age began to tell for De Goey the following season, Carlo's time had come.

On New Years Day 2001 against Aston Villa, he was selected for a league game on merit alone, Chelsea won 1-0 and he played a further 20 games that campaign with the Blues qualifying for the Uefa Cup.

Despite a brief challenge for the shirt from Mark Bosnich, Carlo became Chelsea's first choice keeper for the next three seasons.

Not only that, he was soon talked about as the pick of all the Premiership's stoppers thanks to super-sharp reflexes, speed off his line, ability with his feet and penalty-saving excellence that averaged an incredible 50 per cent success rate.

In the autumn of the 2001/2 season, a fresh-faced hard centre to Chelsea's defence of John Terry and William Gallas, with Carlo behind, conceded just one goal in eight games, setting a new standard for future successful times.

The campaign climaxed with an FA Cup Final appearance at Cardiff versus Arsenal and the last day of the following season was even more historic. A win over Liverpool ensured a return to Champions League football against the backdrop of grim economics. Weeks later, Roman Abramovich bought Chelsea.

Had injury not struck again in March of the following year with the hunt still on for league and European honours, who knows how the story that season would have ended.

Carlo returned in time for the second leg of our first Champions League semi-final but it was Ambrosio, not Cudicini, in goal on the fateful night in Monaco.

In the domestic league, the Blues were runners-up for the first time in our history, 11 points behind Arsenal. Just 30 goals had been conceded in the 38 games.

Carlo had been sorely missed during his time out, and it was little wonder the goalkeeping stock was boosted by the arrival of Petr Cech in the summer of 2004.

The pre-season was not a smooth one for the old guard and new manager José Mourinho named Cech in his first selection, and the new man didn't look back.

Highly-aware of the way the deposed De Goey had reacted and supported when Carlo first broke into the team, he dedicated himself to doing similar for Cech. The two became firm friends and Carlo must take a slice of credit for the young keeper's rise to the peak of his profession.

Cruelly, Carlo's own injury difficulties have limited appearances when Cech himself has been out and suspension robbed the Italian of a place in the Carling Cup Final success of 2005, although he led the team out.

Unfortunately his appearances in Chelsea's consecutive title-winning campaigns were not sufficient to earn medals but last season was his greatest involvement for three years with 19 games played, including his 200th appearance for the club, and six clean sheets. He is third behind Peter Bonetti and Cech in the all-time Chelsea list of shut-outs, with 101 overall, five as substitute.

Last season, he helped with the safe quarter-final passage past Fenerbahce on the road to Moscow.

In total Carlo made 210 Chelsea starts and six sub appearances and remaining loyal to the cause for so long despite the loss of first choice status only cemented a place in the affection of fans who will never forget saves that rank among the very best in Chelsea history.

on a free !!!! ???? a FREEEE ?!?!?!?!?!?!? :thumbsdown: :thumbsdown:

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Gutted that he is gone but i can certainly understand the reasons behind it from a personal point of view from Carlo and from the clubs point.

Similar, and why to those cnuts ! Could have surely waited to the end of the season.

He could have then had his 10 year testimonial where he keeps all the dosh.

Sometimes I think the people running our club are idiots.

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I guess Carlo was getting desperate for first team football and spurs came in for him so he jumped at it! It really is a damn shame he had to go to that mob though!!

Letting Bridge go was daft, all I can think, is that there must be some master plan for another keeper , which I seriously doubt. Cech has been out enough to almost guarantee he'll be out for another spell.

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Good luck to him there, when they don't meet us.

Absolutely gutted he's gone. If we don't sign a back-up goalkeeper I'll be beyond pissed off.

Thanks for the memories, Carlo.

With around 4 days left? I really doubt we will.

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