The goalkeeper position is one of the most important positions in the world of football soccer (if not the most important of all). The position requires a completely different set of skills than a field player might have, including height, great reflexes, arm strength, and ball touch to turn normal drop kicks and goal kicks into perfect long passes than can create problems for the opposition. A player that can win games and also lose them entirely by itself, the goalkeeper certainly can be either a villain or a legendary hero by performing a great save or a great mistake by arriving to stop a ball one second before, or one second left.
Many great goalkeepers have graced the game, heroes that make sure no ball gets between their posts, extremely important for winning championships and world class tournaments, like Lev Yashin, Gordon Banks, or Dino Zoff. But who are the best goalies currently active in today’s football? You can read our article Top 10 Best Female Goalkeepers in The World here.
Let’s take a look at our Top 10 Best Goalkeepers in the world of Football. Did we get it right?
10. Peter Cech (Arsenal)
The man with the iconic black helmet, a living legend, his height, great athleticism, and key saves have made him one of the best goalkeepers of the recent generations. Not only is Cech able to stretch himself to make big difficult saves, but he is also widely known for being great at stopping penalties, as well as, a great motivator and leader, with great vision and ability to command his defenders. Cech has won four English Premiership leagues, one UEFA champions league, and led the Czech republic as captain to the 2006 World Cup.
9. Gianluigi Donnarumma (Milan)
At just 18 years of age, Donnarumma is already one of the most talked about rookie goalkeeper in European. The Milan goalkeeper has been in the spotlight for the last few months with some excellent performances delivered and great saves that seem impossible, worthy of the most legendary goalkeepers. Donnarumma doesn’t play the position like a youngster, he stands between the posts like he’s been in the professional game for years always looking confident and well positioned to defend his goal, usually making saves without much effort. He also has some great reflexes and has shown to be a natural leader, with an ability to organize his defense that is surprising for his young age. He is sought after by other top clubs like Manchester United and Chelsea.
8. Hugo lloris (Tottenham)
The French captain that plays for Tottenham has proved to be one of the best at his position. He is widely regarded as one of the best long-shot stoppers in the premier league with some amazing saves under his highlight reel. With not only great height and stretching ability, Lloris is a goalkeeper known for his great handling of one on one plays, making several stops against attackers on a breakaway. He has great decision making that allows him to play outside his posts with great intelligence.
7. Jan Oblak (Atlético de Madrid)
Atletico de Madrid is know to be a team that is quite hard to score on. They are able to win games against seemingly tougher opponents on paper… due to the fact that they have a great defensive system. But in order for a system like this to work like it does in Madrid’s case, you need to have a great goalkeeper, that goalkeeper is Jan Oblak. The Slovenian goalkeeper lacks jumping ability, but his height, reflexes and great positioning rarely require him to do so. He is able to make great saves nonetheless between the posts, and he is also great with his feet which allows him to play either from the back or deliver long quality passes upfield.
6. Marc-André Ter Stegen (Barcelona)
The Barcelona goalkeeper not only has the height and the jumping ability to make great saves, but he also has some great reflexes. He has been an important member of the catalan squad of late, that has suffered from poor defending, where if it wasn’t for this German superstar, Barcelona would have lost some key matches. But perhaps his best ability is his ball control. He is known to control the ball well and provide support for his defenders when needed, and can also start build up plays from the back. Ter Stegens great set of skills have led him to win two Spanish La Liga titles, one UEFA Champions League, and a recent call up by Joaquim Low to be the starting goalkeeper for the German national team in Russia’s Confederations Cup.
5. Keylor Navas (Real Madrid)
The Costa Rican international caught the eye of Spanish giant Real Madrid, where he was transferred to from Levante, after his excellent participation with Costa Rica during the 2014 World Cup. The “tico” has certainly delivered as his saves have been fundamental for Real Madrid at key moments of important matches and has helped “los blancos” win a UEFA Champions league, one Fifa Club World Cup, and the current Spanish La Liga title. Keylor Navas is a goalkeeper with lighting quick defenses, one of those that just when it appears that he has been beaten and is about to concede a goal, he somehow manages to make a stop. Not only that but Navas is a great penalty stopper.
4. Thibaut Courtois (Chelsea)
The Belgian goalkeeper has been an absolute wall for the teams he’s played for. He helped Atletico win a Spanish Cup and a La Liga title, and a Premiership title with Chelsea. In both seasons with each team he managed to get a save percentage of over 70%. He is not only known for his great reflexes and great positioning between the goalposts, but he is also one of the few goalkeepers to rarely concede rebounds after a stop.
3. David De Gea (Manchester United)
The Spanish International is known for his reflexes, but also his ability and positioning between the posts that allow him to make stops that seem impossible. Not only that, but De Geas’ great height makes him a great goalkeeper defending airballs, especially during corner kicks. He is know to rarely make a mistake during corners and to almost always win over the cross and take away the ball in the air from attackers an a possible header. A rare ability that only the best have that have set him aside from the rest of the pack, and has awarded him a spot as the starter on The Spanish National Team and rumors that Real Madrid want him on their squad. He is called by the press as the natural substitute to none other than the Spanish legend: Iker Casillas
2. Manuel Neuer (Bayern Munich)
The German star not only has great positioning and amazing reflexes, but his unbelievable skills with the ball would probably allow him to play as a field player as well. What sets Neuer apart from the rest is his ability to play outside the box, and challenge attackers during one on one breakaways; at times he appears to play more like a center back, than a goalkeeper, being able to not just cut long balls with his feet using great intelligence and positioning, but also making precision passes afterwards to initiate an attack. Neuers great skills have led the German national team to win the World Cup in Brazil during 2014, and Bayern Munich to five Bundesliga titles, one Champions league, and one Club World Cup.
1. Gianluigi Buffon (Juventus)
Buffon is a living legend at almost 40 years old and having won a number of international titles: One World Cup, nine Italian leagues, three Italian Cups, has played in a Champions league final, not to mention that he holds several records, the most important ones being, the most clean sheets in a single world cup with five, and the most consecutive clean sheets in the Italian Serie A with an impressive number of 10. Buffon has it all, not only are his reflexes out of this world, but his technique is superb, rarely giving the attacker a chance for a rebound ball. He is also able to play outside of the box and has great ball control as is able to make perfect precise passes, whether long or short. Added to this is his great leadership, being the captain for both his country and club for many years, his vision and intelligence to lead and organize his defenders makes a difference in each team he’s played for. The fact that he shows no sign of stopping at his age just makes him even more worthy of the adjective: Legend.
What do you think? Did we miss anyone? Who do you think should be on this list? Who should be number 11. We look foward to your comments.