It wasn't until February 2016 that Willy Caballero became a Manchester City legend. The Argentine veteran was signed simply as a backup to Joe Hart, and he was used only in League Cup games and early FA Cup rounds. He was never even considered for big matches, but a year ago, he became a Sky Blue hero.
The Capital One Cup (EFL Cup right now, Carabao Cup next season) final against Liverpool at Wembley was the greatest moment of Willy's career. He was immense during the first 120 minutes, and then he saved multiple key penalties during the shootout to single-handedly give his team a trophy.
Despite those glorious moments against the Reds, Caballero remained a backup, even as Joe Hart left and Claudio Bravo joined the club with the arrival of Pep Guardiola. Willy is still the Cup keeper, though, and after helping his team beat West Ham United in the third round, the 35-year-old wants another victory in the fourth round matchup with Crystal Palace this Saturday.
It won't be easy for City, however.
“I think Crystal Palace is always a tough place to go. It won’t be easy to go there and win but they’ve had a complicated season so far and need to a lift so beating us in the FA Cup is something they’ll be looking to do to kick-start their season."
“We know what we have to defend better than we have been doing and we know it will be tough, but I think we can win and go through.”
Willy Caballero, source: ManCity.com
Now that the Premier League title is a distant dream and the Champions League knockouts will be very tough, the FA Cup looks like a realistic target for a City team looking to win a title in Pep Guardiola's first season. Willy agrees, and he personally wants to taste FA Cup glory to relive the awesome experience he had against Liverpool.
“Every team left in the competition wants to win the FA Cup but for us, we have the added incentive of the frustration of not beating Tottenham and the loss at Everton and because we are out of the EFL Cup we are now focused on the FA Cup.
“This is another motivation for me to get to Wembley. After the League Cup final, everything changed for me and I felt a lot of affection from the City fans and I’ve really enjoyed it since.
“I’ll never forget that day against Liverpool and I’m sure all our players and fans want to repeat that experience but in another cup competition. We haven’t won the FA Cup for six years and we want to put that right.“
Don't let any goals in and be awesome, Willy. That's all we're asking.