Europe's 5 best penalty saving goalkeepers in recent years
Petr Cech’s heroics against Bayern Munich helped Chelsea win their first ever Champions League titleWinning a penalty is a cause for celebration for most of the teams as it presents an opportunity for the team to score a goal with only the keeper to beat from 12 yards out. Sounds easy doesn’t it? Well, it’s definitely not in most cases. If the team possesses a certain Steven Gerrard, Frank Lampard, Yaya Toure or Eden Hazard it might be an easier proposition but even then it is a daunting task. What makes the penalty even more harder is the man between the sticks. There exists a certain breed of goalkeepers who are considered specialists when it comes to saving penalties. These specialists have different techniques and methods to upset the rhythm of the player who taking penalties. Remember the mind games and the jelly legs of Jerzey Dudek in the 2005 Champions League final penalty shootout? With all his trickery, Dudek managed to keep out the well-established unit of AC Milan. Over the years there have been plenty of keepers who have left a mark on the game with their ability to save penalties in massive situations. These keepers research, practice and study the opponents with the hope of saving a penalty whenever the opportunity arises.We look at goalkeepers who have had the best records in terms of shutting out penalties.
#5 Kevin Trapp - Eintracht Frankfurt
The 23-year-old German shot stopper has made quite a name for himself with tremendous ability in front of goal. Trapp’s biggest strengths lie in his ability to anticipate and save top corner or bottom corner shots.
Reflexes and agility are his key strengths which make him such an important asset, especially when it comes to facing penalties. If not for a certain Manuel Neuer, he would definitely have been making first team appearances for the national team.
The Eintracht keeper moved to sixth position in Bundesliga’s all time penalty saving rankings with his current stats standing at six saves out of 15 penalties taken – a 40% success ratio. His technique in facing penalties is simple and to remain as composed as possible.
Trapp recently talked about his mantra, “I decide which corner I am aiming for before the kick is taken, and then go through with it.”