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Top 4 iconic goalkeepers of the 21st century

  • Here are 4 iconic goalkeepers who mesmerized the world with their saves and garnered respect through their loyalty to club and country.
Linto Lingson
Top 5 / Top 10
Modified 23 Oct 2018, 12:35 IST

German and Bayern Munich goalkeeper Manuel Neuer
German and Bayern Munich goalkeeper Manuel Neuer

While last week's Barcelona vs Sevilla match will be overshadowed by Messi's injury, one should take a look at the two world-class double saves that Marc-Andre ter Stegen made to keep Barca in the match.

The goalkeepers are usually unsung heroes of football, where the limelight shines on the goal scorers and playmaking midfielders. The goalkeepers are the custodians of the sacred goal post.

They are the players who rarely move in the pitch and may seem like they have little to do. But when the time comes, they are the ones who bail out their team with saves that leave everyone in awe.

Here are 4 iconic goalkeepers of this century who routinely kept the ball out of their net with some amazing saves: 

Gianluigi Buffon

Juventus paid €52.88 million for Gianluigi Buffon from Parma
Juventus paid €52.88 million for Gianluigi Buffon from Parma

Buffon could arguably be the best Italian goalkeeper of all time. He started his career in Parma, but his exploits with them quickly gained the attention of Italy and many clubs. In 2001, Juventus decided to do the unthinkable and paid the then record transfer fee of €52.88 million for a goalkeeper. It will be sufficient to say, the Old Lady did not regret paying this humungous amount.

Buffon would go on to be one of the best goalkeepers in the world while at Juventus. But other than getting a world-class custodian, Juve also got a faithful servant. The Calciopoli scandal shook Serie A in 2006 and it led to Juventus being stripped of their last two league titles.

Juventus also found themselves relegated to Serie B. Many players left Juventus in search of greener pastures, and Juventus had to sell them cheap because they couldn't afford the wages. But Buffon decided to stay. For a player who went on to lift the World Cup in that same year as captain, suitors would have been aplenty. Buffon showed his class as a human being and that earned him the respect not only of the Juve fans but also of the whole world.

Buffon went on to lift numerous titles with Juventus
Buffon went on to lift numerous titles with Juventus

After their speedy return to Serie A, Juve went through testing times. They needed to rebuild their club from bottom to up after the scandal. Thankfully for them, they had a goalkeeper who endured through injuries to help them win their first Scudetto in 2012. Since then Juve has not looked back and have gone on to win seven Scudetto titles. Buffon along with Chiellini, Bonuuci, and Barzagli, provided Juventus with an unbreakable backline.

Buffon moved on from Juventus this summer at the grand age of 40, after serving the Old Lady for 17 years. It is extraordinary for a goalkeeper to perform at the level that he has throughout his career. He is rightly the idol of many modern goalkeepers, not only for his longevity and performance but also for the gentleman he is.

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Published 23 Oct 2018, 12:30 IST
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