FIFA World Cup 2018: Top 7 contenders for the Golden Glove
The FIFA World Cup 2018 is less than ten days away and all the teams will land in Russia with their eyes set on the big prize. All the players will have dreams of lifting that famous golden trophy, but individually too, there are some awards available which they will want to grab hold of.
The players will all want to get their hands on the Golden Ball - which is presented to the 'Player of the Tournament' and the Golden Boot, presented to the 'leading goal scorer'. Top players like Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, Neymar, Luis Suarez, Antoine Griezmann and Eden Hazard will all be in contention to swoop up these awards.
One award that often tends to go under the radar, however, is the Golden Glove. The goalkeeping position is probably the most difficult in the game as the levels of concentration required is extremely high.
The goalkeeper should always remain on his toes and will have to come up with brilliant saves to keep his team alive in the game. Despite making those saves, their contributions sometimes tend to get overlooked as the goal scorers and the providers are usually the ones who are remembered and celebrated.
And when they make mistakes, they are scrutinized like no other player on the pitch, and we've just seen that with the likes of Sven Ulreich and Loris Karius.
This is why these guardians of the goal deserve the recognition that they'll get in the tournament with the 'Golden Glove'. This award will be presented to the keeper adjudged to have been the best in the tournament.
Though a few top keepers like Gianluigi Buffon and Jan Oblak will not be there as their countries failed to make the cut; most of the top keepers in the game will all be there in Russia, hoping to make their country proud.
In this article, we'll take a look at the top 7 contenders for the Golden Glove Award -
#7 Rui Patricio (Portugal)
Rui Patricio will be Portugal's guardian in goal for the FIFA World Cup 2018 in Russia. The Sporting Lisbon keeper was the man in goal during Portugal's Euro 2016 title triumph and he was even named in the 'Team of the tournament'.
Portugal have been slotted into a group featuring tournament favourites Spain and the 30-year old will have to be alert to keep the Spaniards at bay. If the European Cup winners are to replicate their continental success in this World Cup, the 30-year old shot-stopper will have to be one of Portugal's inspirational players.
Having made 68 appearances for the Portugal side, Patricio is not short of experience and a lot will depend on his performance between the sticks.