Wilfried Zaha pays tribute to 'mentor' Julian Speroni

Crystal Palace's Argentinian goalkeeper Julian Speroni (C) saves a shot from Tottenham Hotspur's French midfielder Georges-Kevin N'Koudou (L) during the English FA Cup fourth round...

Crystal Palace star Wilfried Zaha paid a heartfelt tribute to his teammate and mentor Julian Speroni who is set to leave the club at the end of the season.

Crystal Palace's Julian Speroni

The South London Press have revealed Wilfried Zaha's tribute to goalkeeper Julian Speroni in last week's annual awards.

Crystal Palace hosted their annual end of season awards at Boxpark, Croydon last week and a surprise award was given to Julian Speroni. The 39-year-old has been with the Eagles since the summer of 2004 and has played over 400 games for the club in all competitions. 

Crystal Palace honoured him with the 'Chairman’s Award for Outstanding Contribution' for his incredible service to the club over the last 15 years. The montage of the Argentinian's finest performances was played in the background which saw quotes from an unlikely player pop up. 


Current Palace star Wilfried Zaha hailed Speroni for the impact he has had in his career and even went as far as calling him his mentor. The Ivory Coast international called him a Crystal Palace hero for his outstanding contribution to the club before Speroni accepted the well-deserved award. 

Zaha was quoted saying: "Before I was even in the first team he was unbelievable. And then managing to meet him you see how much of a gentleman and a nice guy he is. I’m happy to have been at Palace at the same time as he is. He’s been a mentor for me. Obviously, we play in different positions but whatever I was going through he would be someone I could speak to about anything.”

Cardiff City's English defender Lee Peltier (L) vies with Crystal Palace's Ivorian striker Wilfried Zaha (R) during the English Premier League football match between between Cardiff City...

An emotional Speroni returned the compliments by revealing how proud he was of Zaha's achievements and called him a massive player for Palace. 

Speroni rubbished reports of retirement and reiterated his desire to continue playing football after he leaves the club in the summer claiming that he feels 'fit, strong and very much as a player'.

Julián Speroni of Crystal Palace reaction during the FA Cup Fourth Round match between Crystal Palace and Tottenham Hotspur at Selhurst Park on January 27, 2019 in London, United Kingdom.

Have something to tell us about this article?

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch