A goalkeeper is usually viewed as an insignificant player of every football team, when in fact, it’s not. In reality, goalkeepers perform several roles that are not readily visible on spectators’ eyes, and only those who are familiar as to how the game is played know these. So, to help you understand these special roles, this article provides the most significant ones.

Most Significant Roles Of Goalkeepers

Goalkeepers Are The Teams’ Last Line Of Defense

Goalkeepers take the task of preventing the opposing team from scoring by blocking their players from shooting the ball inside the goal post. To do this, goalkeepers are trained to do the needed blocks, dives, and deflections. Since most of the teams’ players are playing offense, the goalkeeper is usually left to guard the goal post. Thus, goalkeepers serve as the last line of defense for every football team.

Goalkeepers Are Effective Playmakers

Goalkeepers are regarded as effective playmakers. This includes both offensive and defensive plays. Goalkeepers are capable of setting up or formulating a defensive play for their team since they are stationed in front of the goal post, facing the opposite team. Due to this position, Goalkeepers can see and become familiar with the opposing teams’ offense. Thus, they can easily assemble their teams’ defensive players and execute a particular defense set up. Also, goalkeepers can take note of their observations and open these up with their coaches.

Goalkeepers are also proficient in creating offensive plays for their team. This is because their position allows them to see the loopholes of the defense exerted by the opposing team. Thus, goalkeepers can communicate with their team’s offensive lineup and device plays that would help them win matches.

Goalkeepers Are Qualified Team Captains

Finally, goalkeepers are regarded as among the best team captains. Many well-established and popular football teams in the world have captains that are goalkeepers. According to experts, goalkeepers are usually awarded this role since they can easily suggest plays and play shifts to other players, for he can see almost every angle of the playing area. Also, goalkeepers usually perform difficult, life-threatening, and unbelievable maneuvers to prevent the opposing teams from scoring. The other team members consider this very inspiring. Due to these, they will learn to respect their keepers, and to earn respect from other team members is a good virtue that successful team captains wish to have.

Given the important and special roles that goalkeepers hold for their teams, many professional football teams have successfully won major and prestigious titles because of them. Thus, many goalkeepers were eventually recognized as among the best in the world.

Top 20 Best Goalkeepers In The World In 2019

David De Gea

For 2019, David De Gea is regarded as one of the best goalkeepers in the world. De Gea stands 6’4” and was born in Madrid, Spain, on November 7, 1990. He started his football career at the age of 13 with Atletico Madrid. Due to hard work, he became Atlético Madrid’s first-choice goalkeeper. During his stint there, De Gea helped Atletico win the UEFA Europa League as well as the UEFA Super Cup in 2010. De Gea’s impressive performances made him a primary target by football agents worldwide. De Gea eventually joined Manchester United in June 2011 for a guaranteed amount of £18.9 million. During that time, such amount is regarded as a record sum for a goalkeeper in Britain. As of the present, De Gea still plays as Manchester United’s keeper.

Manchester United v Leicester City - Premier League
Photo by Sam Curran on Sportskeeda

Manuel Neuer

Coming in at spot number two of this list is the 33-year old Manuel Neuer. He was born in Gelsenkirchen, West Germany, on March 27, 1986. He is described as one of the best goalkeepers in the world and a potent “sweeper-keeper” due to his unique style when playing as well as for his impressive speed when rushing the line to intercept opponents. Neuer is also popular for his quick reflexes, excellent ability to shot and stop, impressive strength, relatively longer throwing range, greater command of his area along with great accuracy, ball control, and distribution. Neuer is currently the number 1 goalkeeper and captain for Bayern Munich and the German national team.

Image result for manuel neuer
Photo by Kiran Thakare on Bayern Strikes

Thibaut Courtois

Thibaut Courtois is a 22-year old Belgian footballer who currently plays as the goalkeeper for Real Madrid as well as the Belgian national team. Courtois, who is one of the best goalkeepers in the world, was born on May 11, 1992, in Bree, Belgium. He stands 6’6” and became popular in 2011 as the youngest goalkeeper to represent Belgium. He was Belgium’s goalkeeper in the 2018 FIFA World Cup and awarded the Golden Goal award as the tournament’s best goalkeeper. It was revealed that Real Madrid paid 3 million Euros when Courtois signed with them.

A Leganes penalty prevented Courtois from keeping a clean sheet on his debut
Photo by Michael Benson on talkSPORT

Jan Oblak

Jan Oblak is a 26-year old professional footballer who plays as a goalkeeper from Slovenia. This 6’2” keeper who is one of the best goalkeepers in the world was born January 7, 1993, in Škofja Loka, Slovenia. Oblak made his senior international debut in 2012 for Slovenia. He was signed by Atletico Madrid for a fee of 16 million euros in 2014 to become La Liga’s most expensive goalkeeper at that time. He is currently playing for Atletico Madrid and as the Slovenia national team goalkeeper.

Marc-André ter Stegen

Marc-André ter Stegen is a 27-year old professional goalkeeper from Germany. This 6’2” keeper who is one of the best goalkeepers in the world was born in Mönchengladbach, Germany, on April 30, 1992. He joined the Spanish club Barcelona in 2014 for an estimated price of 12 million Euros. While playing for Barcelona in his first season, Stegen won the treble. Stegen is also part of the German squads who participated and reached the semifinals of the UEFA Euro 2016 and won the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup. He was also on the German side when Germany joined the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

Gianluigi Buffon

Gianluigi Buffon is a 41-year old professional footballer that plays as a goalkeeper from Italy. This 6’4” keeper who is one of the best goalkeepers in the world was born in Carrara, Tuscany, Italy, on January 28, 1978. Buffon currently plays as the goalkeeper for the Serie A club Juventus. He is regarded as one of the greatest goalkeepers of all time. Also, he holds the record for the longest streak without conceding a goal in Serie A, which is more than 12 matches in the league. It was known that Buffon’s transfer from Parma to Juventus in 2001 made the latter pay about 52 million Euros.

Samir Handanovic

Samir Handanovic is a 35-year old professional footballer and goalkeeper from Slovenia. This 6’4’’ keeper who is one of the best goalkeepers in the world was born on July 14, 1984, at Ljubljana, SFR Yugoslavia. He is presently the goalkeeper and captain of the Italian club Inter Milan. Handanovic earned the nickname “Batman” for his acrobatic moves. Finally, he is considered one of the greatest goalkeepers of his generation.

Hugo Lloris

Hugo Lloris is a 33-year old professional footballer and goalkeeper from France. This 6’2’’ keeper who is considered as one of the best goalkeepers in the world was born in Nice, France, on December 26, 1986. He is presently the goalkeeper and captain of Tottenham Hotspur and the French national team. Lloris was part of the French squad when they were declared winners of the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

Keylor Navas

Keylor Navas is a 33-year old professional footballer and goalkeeper from Costa Rica. This 6’1’’ keeper who is considered as one of the best goalkeepers in the world was born in Pérez Zeledón, Costa Rica, on December 15, 1986. He is currently the goalkeeper of the French club Paris Saint-Germain and the Costa Rica national team. Navas has a long list of great performances. In the 2017–18 seasons, he earned the UEFA Club Football Award for Best UEFA Goalkeeper. He was also named in the UEFA Champions League squad of the season of 2018. According to reliable sources, Navas has a current net worth of $13 million.

Ederson

Ederson Santana de Moraes, better known as Ederson, is a 26-year old professional footballer and goalkeeper from Brazil. This 6’2’’ keeper, who is one of the best goalkeepers in the world, was born in Osasco, Brazil, on August 17, 1993. He is currently the goalkeeper of the Premier League Club Manchester City and the Brazil National Team. Ederson joined Manchester City in the 2017-2018 seasons, which involved a transfer fee of £35 million. Thus, Ederson is considered as the most expensive goalkeeper of all-time at the time of his transfer.

Alisson

Alisson Ramses Becker, better known as Alisson, is a 27-year old professional footballer and goalkeeper from Brazil. This 6’3’’ keeper, who is one of the best goalkeepers in the world, was born in Novo Hamburgo, Brazil, on October 2, 1992. He is currently the goalkeeper of the Premier League Club Liverpool and the Brazil National Team. Allison signed for Liverpool in July 2018 for an initial fee of 62.5 million Euros. It was also revealed that this could rise to 72 million Euros, which is considered as a world-record fee for a goalkeeper during that time.

Stéphane Ruffier

Stéphane Ruffier is a 33-year old professional footballer and goalkeeper from France. This 6’2’’ keeper, who is considered as one of the best goalkeepers in the world, was born in Bayonne, France, on September 26, 1986. He is currently the goalkeeper for Ligue 1 club AS Saint-Étienne. Before this, Ruffier previously played for the famous AS Monaco from the 2005 to 2011 seasons as the team’s first-choice goalkeeper as well as the captain.

Anthony Lopes

Anthony Lopes is a 29-year old Portuguese professional footballer and goalkeeper. This 6’0’’ keeper, who is considered as one of the best goalkeepers in the world, was born in Givors, France, on October 1, 1990. He is currently playing for the French club Olympique Lyonnais as a goalkeeper. Lopes made his senior debut for France March 2015. He was chosen as a member of the French team for Euro 2016, and eventually, the 2018 World Cup.

Wojciech Szczęsny

Wojciech Tomasz Szczęsny is a 29-year old Polish professional footballer and goalkeeper. This 6’5’’ keeper, who is considered as one of the best goalkeepers in the world, was born in Warsaw, Poland, on April 18, 1990. He is currently playing for Serie A club Juventus and the Poland national team as a goalkeeper. Since his debut in 2009, Szczęsny earned more than 40 caps for Poland. He was also included in the Polish squad when the country co-hosted UEFA Euro 2012. Finally, he took part in UEFA Euro 2016 as well as at the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

Mattia Perin

Mattia Perin is a 27-year old Italian professional footballer and goalkeeper. This 6’2’’ keeper, who is considered as one of the best goalkeepers in the world, was born in Latina, Italy, on November 10, 1992. He is currently playing for Serie A club Juventus and the Italy national team as a goalkeeper.

Lukáš Hrádecký

Lukáš Hrádecký is a 30-year old Slovak-born Finnish professional footballer and goalkeeper. This 6’4’’ keeper, who is considered as one of the best goalkeepers in the world, was born in Bratislava, Slovakia, on November 24, 1989. He is currently playing for Bayer Leverkusen and the Finland national team as a goalkeeper.

Kasper Schmeichel

Kasper Schmeichel is a 33-year old Danish professional footballer and goalkeeper. This 6’2’’ keeper, who is considered as one of the best goalkeepers in the world, was born in Copenhagen, Denmark, on November 5, 1986. He is currently playing for Premier League club Leicester City and the Denmark National Team as a goalkeeper. Schmeichel is the son of the former popular Manchester United and Danish international goalkeeper, Peter Schmeichel.

Bernd Leno

Bernd Leno is a 27-year old German professional footballer and goalkeeper. This 6’3’’ keeper, who is considered as one of the best goalkeepers in the world, was born in Bietigheim-Bissingen, Germany, on March 4, 1992. He plays as a goalkeeper for the Premier League Club Arsenal and the German National Team. He signed a five-year contract with Arsenal in June 2018, which is believed to cost around £22.5 million.

Neto

Norberto Murara Neto is a 30-year old Brazilian professional footballer and goalkeeper. This 6’3’’ keeper, who is considered as one of the best goalkeepers in the world, was born in Araxá, Brazil, on July 19, 1989. He plays as a goalkeeper for the Spanish club Barcelona. Neto first played for Brazil in 2010 but formally debuted in 2018. While playing for Brazil, Neto won a silver medal for playing sports at the 2012 Olympics. He was also a part of the Brazilian squad who played at the 2015 Copa América.

Sergio Asenjo

Sergio Asenjo Andrés is a 30-year old Spanish professional footballer and goalkeeper. This 6’2’’ keeper, who is considered as one of the best goalkeepers in the world, was born in Palencia, Spain, on June 28, 1989. He plays as a goalkeeper plays for Villarreal as a goalkeeper. Asenjo played for Atlético Madrid in 2009. He spent five seasons with this club but was loaned to Málaga and Villarreal. It was in 2014 when he permanently joined Villareal.

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