Best goalkeepers of all time

Top 10 Best Goalkeepers of all time

Goalkeepers are arguably one of the two most important players in a football team along with the striker. With the match being won based on goals, the goal scorers and stoppers undoubtedly hold the key to a game.

Goalkeepers are the last line of defense for a team and do their best to not concede a goal. Over the years, we’ve seen some spectacular saves, some last-ditch sweeper-keeper clearances, high claims, last-minute saves, penalty saves, and much more. We’ve also seen some huge mistakes and unfortunately for a goalkeeper, they are almost always punished for the error.

Some of the best goalkeepers of all time have single-handedly won points or trophies for their teams, putting in big performances in crucial matches. Thibaut Courtois made a record number of saves for Real Madrid against Liverpool in the 2022 UEFA Champions League final. Meanwhile, Iker Casillas pulled off an iconic save for Spain against the Netherlands at the 2010 FIFA World Cup final. There are numerous such examples.

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On that note, let’s take a look at the Top 10 best goalkeepers of all time:

10. Gordon Banks

Gordon Banks (Pic credits: Getty)

The late Gordon Banks is perhaps known more for his career with England than his club but regardless, he is one of the greatest goalkeepers of all time. Banks helped The Three Lions win the World Cup in 1966, which remains the last big trophy for the men’s side.

Banks also produced one of the most iconic saves in the sport against the late Pelé at the 1970 World Cup.

Gordon played for the likes of Leicester City and Stoke City at the club level and won two League Cups.

9. Alisson Becker

Alisson Becker (Pic credits: Getty)

Having performed consistently over the years, Alisson has certainly been one of the best goalkeepers of all time. The Brazil international rose to prominence at AS Roma before his eventual breakthrough at Liverpool. The Brazilian goalkeeper arrived in 2018 and helped the Reds win every trophy available.

Alisson has made some incredible saves over the years for Liverpool and continues to do so. He has the opportunity to add more accolades to his cabinet with Brazil and also at the club level before he retires.

8. Edwin van der Sar

Edwin van der Sar (Pic credits: Getty)

Edwin van der Sar made over 800 appearances throughout his club career, which includes over 500 appearances for Ajax and Manchester United. He won 27 trophies across the span of his career and also holds the world record for most minutes without conceding in the Premier League – 1,311 in the 2008-09 season.

Van der Sar won two Champions League trophies and four Premier League titles, among other honors. He also made 130 appearances for the Netherlands.

7. Peter Schmeichel

Peter Schmeichel (Pic credits: Getty)

Peter Schmeichel is widely regarded as one of the best goalkeepers of all time for his spell with Manchester United and Denmark. The goalkeeper helped the Danish side lift the Euros in 1992.

Schmeichel spent eight years at Manchester United, winning numerous trophies, including the iconic treble in the 1998-99 season. He won five Premier League titles with the club, among other honors.

6. Petr Čech

Petr Cech (Pic credits: Getty)

Petr Čech is undeniably one of the most iconic goalkeepers of the modern era. He made his name with Chelsea and was part of the team that holds the record for the least goals conceded in a season – 15. He has also kept the highest number of clean sheets in Premier League history – 202.

Čech suffered a fractured skull in 2006 but bounced back after surgery and a helmet. He won four Premier League titles and one UEFA Champions League trophy, among other honors.

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5. Oliver Kahn

Oliver Kahn (Pic credits: Getty)

Oliver Kahn is regarded as one of the greatest goalkeepers of all time. He was a sensational goalkeeper but also a leader for both Germany and Bayern Munich. He made over 600 appearances for Bayern, winning eight Bundesliga titles, and one UEFA Champions League trophy, among other honors.

Kahn also made 86 appearances for Germany. He was also named the best player at the 2002 World Cup despite his side losing in the final against Brazil.

4. Iker Casillas

Iker Casillas 2010 World Cup save (Pic credits: Getty)

Iker Casillas is certainly one of the best goalkeepers of all time with his stellar displays for Real Madrid and Spain. He came through Real Madrid’s academy and made over 700 senior appearances for them, winning every trophy available multiple times. He won three Champions League trophies and five La Liga titles, among other honors.

For Spain, Casillas made 167 appearances winning two UEFA Euros and one FIFA World Cup. He also captained both sides for a long period.

3. Manuel Neuer

Manuel Neuer (Pic credits: Getty)

Manuel Neuer has been a mainstay in the German national team and Bayern Munich for years now. He has helped them win numerous trophies, including 11 Bundesliga titles and two Champions League trophies. The German Giant has also made over 521 appearances for the Bavarians.

Neuer popularized the term ‘sweeper keeper’ after his effectiveness in racing out of the box to make clearances or tackles. The German goalkeeper also helped Germany win the 2014 FIFA World Cup.

Neuer suffered a bad accident while skiing but returned to action in 2023 and resumed his terrific displays.

2. Gianluigi Buffon

Gianluigi Buffon (Pic credits: Getty)

Despite never winning the UEFA Champions League trophy, Gianluigi Buffon is widely regarded as one of the best goalkeepers of all time. Some even label him the greatest of all time and he has been an inspiration for many young goalkeepers over the years.

Buffon made over 900 appearances in his club career, with 685 of them coming for Juventus. He won 10 Serie A titles, among multiple other trophies. He also won the FIFA World Cup with Italy in 2006 and made 176 appearances for them.

Buffon eventually retired in 2023 but left a big impact on the footballing world.

1. Lev Yashin

Lev Yashin (Pic credits: Getty)

Lev Yashin’s greatness was recognized by France Football naming the award for the best goalkeeper of the year the Lev Yashin Award. It was introduced in 2019 and the likes of Alisson have won it.

Yashin is also the only goalkeeper to have ever won the Ballon d’Or, doing so in 1963. He made over 350 appearances for Dinamo Moscow, winning multiple trophies. He also helped the Soviet Union win the 1960 Euros.

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