The modern-day goalkeeper is one of the most demanding positions on the pitch. Not only are you expected to have lightning fast reactions, but you also need the strength and agility to make those fingertip saves with your goalkeeper gloves. Whilst there have been many great goalkeepers in the modern game, there are a certain few that simply stand out from the rest. In no particular order, here is our list of the greatest modern-day goalkeepers.
Over his career, Khan accomplished many great feats in the sport. In the 2002 World Cup, he helped Germany reach the final, keeping his team in each game throughout the tournament at the age of 32! During this tournament, he conceded only a single goal to the legendary Ronaldo and was the first goalkeeper to receive the Golden Ball award as the World’s Cup’s best player- a truly astounding achievement. Throughout his career at Bayern Munich, Khan won a total of 16 major trophies and was best known for his game against Valencia in which he saved 3 penalties during the 2001 Champions League Final.
Another German goalkeeper, Manuel Neuer is considered the best current goalkeeper in the world. Known for his role as a ‘sweeper keeper’ Neuer is known for his ability to control the ball with his feet whilst also making miraculous saves during play. He played an essential role at Bayern Munich, in which he supported his team to become the first German team to win the Treble of a Bundesliga, German Cup and Champions League in 2012/13. Unfortunately, later in his career at the age of 32 Neuer has suffered from several injuries that have prevented him from playing the position we all know him for.
Cech got off to an outstanding career at Chelsea, but unfortunately suffered from a huge injury against Reading in which he fractured his skull. Consequently, he required neurosurgery and was required to wear a head protector for the remainder of his career. Before his injury Cech was known for being extremely difficult to score against, making outstanding saves with his goalkeeper gloves at every angle of the goal. After his injury, Cech remained one of the best goalkeepers in the Premier League and retired in 2019 after a long and successful career.
No list of top goalkeepers would ever be complete without Gianluigi Buffon. Buffon is known for being a truly outstanding goalkeeper from the very start of his career at Juventus. He has had both highs and lows throughout his career being relegated to Serie B after being part of Italy’s World Cup-winning team in 2006. It was here that he showed his loyalty to his club and one the love of not only Juventus fans, but fans around the globe.
The longevity of his career is truly outstanding, joining Juventus in 2001 for a world-record €52m. In total, he achieved 175 caps for Italy (a European record) and though retired from international football, he continues to play at Juventus today.