This COVID-19 pandemic has given us all pause and time to reflect on anything and everything in our lives. While that is the case, why not take a trip and revisit some of the legends of football? Here are some of the greatest goalkeepers in no particular order.
Petr Cech was once considered the best goalkeeper in the world following his move to Chelsea but lost some of his lustre after an incident in a match against Reading where he suffered a broken skull. Despite that and having to wear a safety cap for every game till his retirement from football, he still had the ability to play at the top level when he made the move to Arsenal and will always be remembered as one of the best of his time.
Dino Zoff remains as the oldest player to have ever won the World Cup with Italy in 1982 at the age of 40. The Italian can boast having also won the European Championship together with 6 Serie A titles.
Part of the Nottingham Forest side that won back-to-back European titles, Peter Shilton had to follow in the steps of Gordon Banks (also in this list) for both club and country and did an admirable job. He was 40 when he was selected to represent England at the World Cup 1990 and till today holds numerous records including being England’s most capped player.
Sepp Maier won both the 1972 European Championship and 1974 World Cup for West Germany together with 3 successive European Cups not to mention four Bundesliga titles. He still holds the record for having played the most number of consecutive matches in a row (442) in the Bundesliga and will always be remembered for his personality.
Oliver Kahn certainly looked the part of a giant in goal, he enjoyed a stellar career with Bayern Munich and Germany having won everything that there was to be won at club level and is the only keeper to have ever won the Golden Ball at a World Cup after his heroics in 2002.
Edwin van der Sar
The towering Dutchman had a stellar career which included being one of a few players to have won the Champions League twice with 2 different clubs; Ajax in 1995 and Manchester United in 2008 where he was even named man of the match. He also holds the record for being the oldest player to have won the Premier League. Despite his height, van der Sar was exceptionally good with his feet and will remain one of the legends of the game.
One of the only players to have ever won every honour there is to claim as a player, Iker Casillas has had one the most stellar careers of anyone on this list. With amazing reflexes and a confirmed starting berth for most of his career at Real Madrid, Casillas has written himself into the record books despite his less-than-ideal exit from Real Madrid.
Considered one of the greatest English keepers ever, Banks was named FIFA goalkeeper of the year 6 times in a row before a car accident cut his career short. He is also well known for making what some would consider the greatest save ever made when he managed to keep a Pele header out by pushing it up and over the bar. He played an integral part in England’s World Cup winning squad, conceding only 2 goals in the whole tournament.
The “Great Dane” enjoyed a stellar career which included the Champions League victory with Manchester United in 1999, 5 Premier League titles and helping Denmark to win the European Championships. He well known for his huge stature, agility and his long throws that launched quick counter attacks.
Lev Yashin holds the ultimate record to be the only goalkeeper to have ever won the Ballon d’Or and was also named goalkeeper of the 20th century by the IFFS. He was even attributed the nickname “The Black Spider”, for his amazing reflexes and was well-loved for his showmanship and persona.
Is there anything to really say that will be news about Buffon? Casillas once said that it was “impossible to find any weaknesses in his game” and he could not be further from the truth. A loyal stalwart of Juventus, he was one of the few players who followed the club down to Serie B when they got relegated and helped them bounce right back in one season. Having won everything else that is to win, he has unfortunately been unable to win the Champions League in his career.
This was one is quite obvious. Manuel Neuer is one of the few keepers who has come close to winning the Ballon d’Or when he came in third after winning the World Cup. He has been a consistent performer with Bayern Munich after impressing with Schalke in his early days and till today is the undisputed best goalkeeper for Germany.