The goalkeeping position is probably the most difficult position to fill in for any team. Often the keeper is never given importance as people presume he has no “running” to do when compared to the rest of the team. However goalkeeping requires immense levels of concentration and this generation does indeed have some cracking shot stoppers. This list is not an all time list and also not the perfect list as you might have your own top five.
Juventus paid over £30 million and a player to persuade Parma into selling them their shot stopper and what a gem he turned out to be. Having won several accolades over the last decade including the a prestigious world cup winner’s medal, this Italian master class is a legend. A stunning 2006 world cup campaign which eventually saw him take home the Lev Yashin award, Gigi Buffon will always be considered the best goalkeeper. He remained loyal to Juve even when the club went through some tough and testing times. Age seems to have caught up with the Italian giant but he still has a good few years left in him.
At the age of 30, San Iker has won all major and national honors and is considered one of the best goal keepers. Often he has drawn comparisons to Buffon but it is indeed very difficult to choose between the two. Even paper missiles cannot get past the Spanish number 1! Remember that match against Sporting Gijon where he caught those paper missiles thrown at him? Also who can forget that awesome save against Sevilla ! A stellar performance in the World cup 2010 finals guiding Spain to a world cup triumph and even picking up the Golden Glove (Lev Yashin award) award, nothing is impossible for Casillas . No wonder Real Madrid have inserted a whooping buyout clause of over 100 million into his contract to ward off potential suitors.
Although his world cup campaign last year may have ended on a sour note, Julio Cesar still remains one of the best shot stoppers in Serie A. Having worked up his way into the Inter Milan squad, he has firmly established himself as the Brazil’s number one. After a stunning 2009-2010 campaign with Italian giants Inter Milan, a lot was expected from Julio Cesar in the world cup but alas he failed to impress. Inspite of the world cup shortcomings, he is rated among the very best. Having been voted Serie A Goalkeeper of the Year for the last two seasons, lets hope he continues the good run this season.
Petr Cech is truly a legend as he has overcome several odds to emerge as one of the world’s finest shot stoppers. He has to wear protective head gear during every match as any further injury to his cranium might even cost him his life. Currently one of the best keepers in the English Premier league, Cech has a lot to offer to Chelsea and lets hope the giant Czech continues to entertain us for many more years.
Most of you might have expected Valdes, Akinfeev,Neuer,Lloris or Stekelenburg at the end of this list but I choose Pepe Reina. The Spaniard is highly underrated and his international chances are limited courtesy one Mr. Iker Casillas but I still regard Reina as a world class goalkeeper. He has won the coveted Barclays Golden Glove award three times in a row with Liverpool and was also a part of the World cup winning squad. Remember those three penalty saves against West Ham in the 2006 FA Cup final? I wish he had more chances to represent Spain.
There are several other keepers who have burst into prominence in the last few years. Keepers like Joe Hart, Szczesny,David de Gea being touted as the next big things in the world of football.