Goalkeepers are among the first players to be on the receiving end of criticism for the team's poor results on the pitch. Well, in the modern game the role of a goalie is much more than that of just the guardian of the goal as they are also expected to initiate goal-scoring chances for their sides.
Having a goalkeeper who is as good with his feet as his hands proves to be a game-changer and that explains why the wages of elite goalkeepers are on an upward trajectory.
Also read: The 10 highest-paid goalkeepers in the world
Having a reliable last line of defense helps the manager focus more on the tactics in the final third, which is where most games are won and lost. Here we will be taking a look at the 10 goalkeepers, who have contributed towards plenty of points for their clubs this season. On that note, we present:
10 best goalkeepers in the world this season
#10 Antonio Adan | Sporting Lisbon
A fringe player for most of his career, Antonio Adan was phenomenal for Sporting Lisbon this season. The former Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid shot-stopper only moved to the Portuguese capital last summer and, in his first season, helped the Leões to their first league title in 19 years.
He was a key member of the Sporting defence that conceded just 20 goals throughout the season and kept 19 clean sheets in his 33 appearances for the club. Until last week Sporting were undefeated in the league and conceded four of their 20 goals against Benfica in their 4-3 loss.
Though a sturdy three-man defense that guarded him also deserves the credit for his league-best clean sheets, he impressed with a 74% save ratio and even saved a penalty in a crucial away game at Belenenses in the first half of the season.
#9 Samir Handanovic | Inter Milan
Like Adan, Handanovic's performances were also crucial to Inter's first league title in 11 years. Handanovic leads the clean sheet charts in Serie A, managing a shutout in 14 of his 36 appearances this season.
The club captain is one of the last traditional goalkeepers left in the game at the moment and what he lacks in athletic ability and ball control with his feet, he makes up for in his reflexes and determination.
#8 Koen Casteels | Wolfsburg
The Bundesliga is known for producing world-class goalkeepers. Manuel Neuer, Marc-André ter Stegen are the cream of the current crop while Jens Lehmann and Oliver Kahn are the two keepers who were at the top of their game in the initial years of the century.
One of the goalkeepers who has gone under the radar is Wolfsburg No.1 Koen Casteels. The Belgian international is one of the longest-serving custodians in the German top-flight at the moment and kept 14 clean sheets for the Wolves this season as they secured Champions League qualification for just the third time in their history.
Between January and March, he went 673 minutes without conceding in league fixtures, which helped Wolfsburg post the second-best defensive figures in the league. Across all competitions, he had an impressive 71% save ratio and saved three of the six penalties faced by him this term.
Unfortunately, he won't be able to represent Belgium at Euro 2020 as he is scheduled to undergo fibula surgery this week and will be in recovery until next season.