Euro 2016: A fan's take on the Top 5 Goalkeepers from the tournament
The UEFA Euro 2016 has come to a spectacular end with Portugal upsetting the hosts to clinch their maiden European Championship. Throughout the tournament, we have been lucky to witness some world-class performances, the most notable ones being from the goalkeepers on the pitch.
With some of the world’s best goalkeepers like Manuel Neuer for Germany, David De Gea for Spain and Thibaut Courtois for Belgium having ordinary tournaments by their standards, other keepers rose to the occasion and were the heroes for their teams. Here is a fan’s take on the top five goalkeepers from the tournament:
- Gianluigi Buffon
Italy came into the UEFA Euro 2016 tournament as the unusual underdogs. The Italians, usually known to be a dominant force in Europe were written off by experts before the tournament. They were drawn into the same group as Belgium, Sweden, and the Republic of Ireland, with many expecting them to finish second or third in the group. What followed was three clinical defensive performances against all three oppositions putting on top of the group.
Gianluigi Buffon, protected by a world-class defense was the hero as Italy kept four clean sheets in the Euros. They beat Spain 2-0 and faced Germany in the quarterfinals. In an intense game, Buffon let in his first game of the tournament. In the penalty shootout, Buffon made history in a losing cause when he saved Thomas Muller’s penalty which was the first German player to miss a penalty since 1982.
Buffon’s inclusion in the top 5 isn't a surprise as the goalkeeper made 10 vital saves during his campaign. Although the number isn’t huge thanks to the defense, most of the saves came when the back-line were thoroughly beaten. His distribution from the back was clinical and above all, he led the team with sheer class and passion.