“(WC 2006 )Time’s running out for France. Here’s Sagnol for France crossing to Zidane and he heads it And it’s a GG…. No! No! Buffon has denied it with a brilliant save, The Italian Keeper on top of his form pulling out one of the finest save ever!!” Exclaimed Sir Ian Robertson, the Irish commentator. This was the scene which changed the tone of the game and it was all because of a Goal keeper, a place in football where no one wants to play. A place meant only for ‘fat’ kids. A place which symbolizes “Laziness” and has the least preference and is deeply criticizedIt is time to realise that Goal keeper are just as influential like Forwards or Midfielders. Goalkeeping too needs considerable amount of skill and practice. The one trait that distinguishes GK’s from other positions is concentration and command over defense. A goalkeeper unlike other players must have the ability to maintain composure and always must be a role model for the other team members. Co-ordination for the center backs and flow of the ball in the defense has to be controlled by a typical Goal-keeper and a GK must be a source for a Aggression. Although we have seen quiet Goalkeepers like Gianlugi Buffon, Peter Cech, Casillas, who silently make their mark in the contest. The Penalty shootout is always a golden opportunity for the Keeper to create an overwhelming impact on the team. History has seen Big Tournaments deciding on penalties. Like the 2010 WC, Paraguay vs Spain, where Iker Casillas of Spain was the hero, similar to that was the UEFA Champions League final where Jerzy Dudek of Liverpool managed to make A.C Milan Shevchenko’s save resulting in the historic comeback of Champions League EVER!! There were also great saves in the regular time, for example Gordon Banks historical save V/s Pele in the World Cup. Higuata’s acrobatic save v/s England. These are the game changing moments, my friends. But such memories are witnessed and regarded by only a considerable number of football fans unfortunately.Everybody recognises Messi, Ronaldo, or Neymar, But How many fans know the GK’s who have denied their attempts for scoring goals? Which Media/Newspaper/Advertisements have shown Buffon or Casillas on their cover? Very less. When a striker misses a golden opportunity, he would not be blamed as much as compared to a GK who does the mistake. GK’s most often are always remembered for their mistakes & criticized rather than their saves. This Attitude towards the GK’s has actually degraded the position. Gerard Butler’s( P.s He is the GK ) line in the movie ‘ The Game of their lives ‘. He says “ The worst position in the field is to be a GK because I have to be the last one to see the ball cross the net “. It is a harsh truth that a GK will have to deal with. But always remember GK always is an ideal leader to players. Oliver Kahn, Gianluigi Buffon, Iker Casillas all of them have been fantastic icons, superb Keepers and ideal captains for their country.
Published 03 Jun 2014, 21:53 IST
GoalKeepers will always be blamed & criticised if a team loses and will be least credited during victories. But then they're just like the Dark Knight. A watchful protector and a silent guardian ;)