Top 5 goalkeepers in the UEFA Champions League 2019-20
The UEFA Champions League is often considered the highest stage in club football, beating off competition from its cross-continental rivals. There is often a clamour to compete in the tournament for both money and the prestige it carries.
This year has seen 5 rounds of exciting matches as per usual, and despite there being a gulf in quality between sides, most have shown the spirit of Champions. Goalkeepers are always said to shine in big games and this year has seen some fantastic goalkeeping performances. The pressure on the sides in the tournament and the general starry vibe of Champions Leagues nights is difficult to handle. It takes something special to keep calm against the tide of excitement.
Here, we take a quick look at some of the best goalkeepers of the tournament so far and rank the Top 5 so far this tournament by performance. An honourable mention must be made to Jan Oblak, who has been typically astute in goal.
Jasper Cillessen has also been very good for Valencia. Roman Bürki's true value is noted when he is absent and he continues to impress for Dortmund. However, the others on this list have been phenomenal and edge the others out. This list, of course, is not comprehensive and there may be many changes as the tournament progresses.
5. Ondřej Kolář - Slavia Praha
Aged 25 years, Ondrej Kolář was signed from FC Slovan Liberec for a Czech Goalkeeper record £1 million in 2018. The expensive fee looks very justified as things stand. Kolář made news recently by criticising the Barcelona players who allegedly didn't meet their Praha counterparts after the game.
Praha had reached the Champions League group stage for the first time this decade but they managed to hold all-star Barcelona to 0-0 at Camp Nou. Coming away with a clean sheet wasn't a performance to ignore as the Czech keeper frustrated the hosts.
Praha have been impressive in the defensive front in the tournament despite failing to win a game and the point at Camp Nou was an indication as to how well-drilled a unit they are. Kolář's performances have been consistent throughout the tournament and this was not a one-off special night. In the tournament thus far, he has played 450 mins. In this, he has made a very impressive 23 saves.
While this is also due to the high number of shots faced, Kolář has escaped any criticism for the goals conceded through Praha's games. He is confident in dealing with loose balls and crosses and has claimed 11 balls and not punched even once!
What is more astonishing is a passing accuracy of 76%, perhaps aided by the frequent low block Praha has been forced to play. He managed a yellow card in the tournament but no one can blame him for showing a bit of street-smart time-management. Kolář may or may not move on to bigger clubs but he has had a tournament to remember.