Asian Cup 2019: 5 goalkeepers to watch out for
As the Asian Cup is only two days away, football aficionados have already started listing out players they would keep an eye. The list must include strikers and midfielders who get the most attention. But there will be some goalkeepers too, who will try to impress by pulling off magnificent saves.
Many players grabbed attention in the past after showing impressive performances in this tournament. Many would get lucrative offers to play in a different club. But above, the pride of representing their country remains supreme and no doubt, it will drive them the most.
Sportskeeda picks out five such goalkeepers who could play a crucial role under the bar:
#5 Matthew Ryan (Australia)
Matt Ryan may be the most famous and experienced goalkeeper coming into this tournament. After making his international debut 2012, Ryan went all the way to make himself as the first-choice goalkeeper for his country.
Ryan started his career with Blacktown City in 2009 but moved to Central Coast Mariners next year. He started as a substitute keeper but an Anterior Cruciate Ligament injury to the then first-choice keeper Jess Vanstrattan opened up a new challenge for Ryan and he embraced it with both hands. Despite his club lost the championship, Ryan won the medal for the best player of the tournament.
The Aussie keeper went on to win many more awards and earned adulation from the fans before moving to Belgium to hone his skills. He joined Belgian top division side Club Brugge. Ryan spent only two seasons but won Pro League’s best goalkeeper twice. He started to get attraction from other European clubs and finally joined La Liga side Valencia in 2015.
After debuting with Valencia in their goal-less draw with Rayo Vallecano, Ryan sustained a knee injury few matches later, which kept him out from football for over two months. After some fine display from his replacement, Ryan lost his place and soon loaned to Racing Genk.
He signed for Brighton and Hove Albion in 2017 and even though the first few matches were hard for him, Ryan gradually developed his performance and regained his composure. He is now the undisputed first-choice keeper for his club and started attracting interest from other top clubs, including Manchester United, who want to replace David de Gea by signing Ryan.
Ryan played all the three matches for his country in World Cup but couldn’t save the ignominy as his country crashed out from the group stage. This was his second World Cup, having appeared in Brazil in 2014.
Being famous for his shot stopping and penalty saving, one has to keep an eye to him in Asian Cup.