Goalkeeping is not a glamourous job. In football, it is the attackers who take home all the applause and the acclaim, with the leftovers given to the midfielders and the defenders. Goalkeepers are often ignored.
However, it is one of the toughest jobs on the field that requires concentration, composure and the ability to pull off saves at any moment in a game. While saves may not be as sensational as goals or tackles, there is no denying that a good goalkeeper saves teams many points in the course of a season.
These days, apart from saves, shot-stoppers are expected to be good with their feet. From Manuel Neuer to Alisson and Ederson, it is seen as an important aspect of a goalkeeper's quality.
This century has seen the emergence and the prime of some of the best goalkeepers to have played the game.
We look at the:
10 greatest goalkeepers of the 21st century
#10 THIBAUT COURTOIS
La Liga's most expensive goalkeeper, Thibaut Courtois has managed to establish himself as the no.1 goalkeeper at every club he has been at.
A tall, agile goalkeeper, the Belgium international has won trophies at every club he has played in. It was a three-year loan spell at Atletico Madrid where he made his name, winning the league and the Europa League. He returned to parent club Chelsea to usurp Petr Cech from the no.1 spot, going on to win every domestic trophy possible.
A €35 million move to Real Madrid followed in 2018, where after a slow start, the 28-year old has established himself as the no.1 choice for Zinedine Zidane. He won the Zamora Trophy as Real Madrid won the league last season, his third Zamora Trophy overall and the first with Los Blancos.
#9 KEYLOR NAVAS
Thibaut Courtois' predecessor at Real Madrid, Keylor Navas has a claim to be the most underrated goalkeeper in world football.
After an excellent World Cup in 2014 with Costa Rica, Los Blancos bought Navas from Levante for €10 million, initially as backup to Iker Casillas. Casillas's departure the subsequent season and the failure to acquire David de Gea from Manchester United saw Navas become the first-choice shotstopper for the club.
The 33-year old would play an integral role as Los Blancos won three consecutive Champions League titles. However, Courtois' arrival saw Navas on the bench once more. Last summer, Paris Saint-Germain decided to buy him for €15 million, and the goalkeeper was once again influential as PSG reached the finals of the Champions League.
#8 DAVID de GEA
While David de Gea might not be at his very best right now, there is no denying that he has been Manchester United's best player in the post-Sir Alex Ferguson era.
The Spain international joined Manchester United from Atletico Madrid in 2011 for €25 million. After some poor performances, the Spain international firmly established himself as the first-choice goalkeeper for the Red Devils, winning three consecutive Sir Matt Busby Player of the Year awards.
While he may not boast of an incredible trophy cabinet, De Gea a couple of years ago was arguably the best goalkeeper in the world, consistently producing world-class saves and performances.
Also Read: 10 greatest defenders of the 21st century