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La Liga 2016/17, Real Madrid 2-1 Valencia: 5 Talking Points

Sunaadh Sagar
FEATURED COLUMNIST
Modified 04 May 2017, 15:38 IST
Top 5 / Top 10
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#2 Diego Alves – the Penalty Whisperer

VALENCIA, SPAIN - FEBRUARY 22:  Diego Alves of Valencia reacts during the La Liga match between Valencia CF and Real Madrid at Mestalla Stadium on February 22, 2017 in Valencia, Spain.  (Photo by Manuel Queimadelos Alonso/Getty Images)
Diego Alves is the best penalty shot-stopper in the game

As the cameras cut to Valencia boss Voro’s face on the touchline when Dani Parejo conceded a penalty with a foul on Modric in the box, there was no look of disgust or pain. Instead, Voro knew that his keeper was the best in the world when it came to saving penalties. To no one’s surprise, Diego Alves saved Cristiano Ronaldo’s effort, the third save in four penalties he has faced from the Portuguese superstar.

History’s best goalkeepers – your Buffons, Casillas, Neuers, Schmeichels etc have averaged a penalty save rate of 20-25%. From the 53 penalties that Diego Alves has faced in his career, the Brazilian has saved an incredible 26 penalties – a save rate of 49.05%! He’s stopped the best – Lionel Messi, Antoine Griezmann, Cristiano Ronaldo – very few have an answer to beating him from the penalty spot regularly.

He’s already made La Liga history, but football is such a cruel game for goalkeepers, that Alves walks away the loser today, despite his heroics.

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Published 29 Apr 2017, 23:11 IST
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