5 most underrated goalkeepers in Europe
Goalkeepers are a very important part of football. They come under maximum scrutiny and maximum pressure in crucial situations, with their decisions affecting the outcomes of matches.
There have been some great goalkeepers over the years and their performances have left spectators mind-blown with amazing reflexes and anticipation. For a goalkeeper, reflexive saves which make the front and back pages of papers are only one part of the game.
Though this part is highlighted, good anticipation and positioning almost always negate the need for fantastic gravity-defying dives, though reflexive actions are an inevitable part of the job. Keepers can sometimes be solely judged on their headline-making ability and that is an extremely unfair way to judge keepers.
While the likes of Manuel Neuer and David de Gea are headline makers deservedly, some goalkeepers are rarely mentioned when talking about the better keepers across Europe despite being recognized for their talent by their managers and team. This is an extremely unfair method of determining great keepers.
Some goalkeepers also miss out on the headlines because they play in leagues that do not always have the highest reputation or media attention. Other fantastic keepers play in the shadow of once-in-a-generation players like a Petr Schmeichel for instance.
All in all these men deserve to be recognised for their talent, perseverance and sheer ability to go on doing their job with the same motivation despite not having being rated aptly for their talent.
In this list, we take a look at 5 of the most underrated goalkeepers in Europe:
#5 Steve Mandanda (Marseille)
The French international failed to make the cut at Crystal Palace with form and injury hampering his progress and his inability to settle down in South London. He returned to Marseille for a second permanent spell at the club.
Barring his spell in South London, Mandanda has impressed throughout his career, having represented France in four international tournaments. He began his career at Le Havre and joined Marseille on loan in 2007-08 before making the move permanent and playing 300 times for the French side.
Nicknamed 'Frenchie' by his brothers, Mandanda is very impressive with the ball at his feet and is precise with his distribution.His consistency in goal meant that Olympique de Marseille have not worried about the Goalkeeping spot for many years.
Despite Yohann Pele having a great season as Marseille's No 1, Mandanda returned and was reinstated immediately. Pele had managed the highest number of clean sheets last season, making good of his chance to replace Mandanda.
This was however not enough for the Marseille faithful and the management team of the French giants, who immediately trusted Steve Mandanda to do a better job than Pele.
Admittedly Pele has gotten opportunities but they very fact that Mandanda had a shocker of a season for Palace bears no relevance this time around for both the player and Olympique de Marseille.
The club has begun the season in solid fashion and Mandanda is regaining his confidence in familiar territory, setting him up for a few more years at the top.