Who are the greatest goalkeepers in football history?
This list features not only current soccer goalkeepers, but also players who have long since retired from the game, but who left behind an indelible mark on their sport as one of the greatest shot stoppers of all time.
When compiling this list of the greatest goalkeepers in football history, we considered each player’s career statistics and personal accolades, his longevity at the top level of football, and his overall influence on the sport itself.
We hope that you encourage this list!
Lev Yashin was a Soviet-era goalkeeper widely regarded as the greatest goalkeeper in football history. He was well-known for his acrobatic saves and ability to remain calm under pressure. He was a trailblazer in his field, and his impact can still be felt today.
Yashin started his career with Dynamo Moscow in 1954 and quickly established himself as one of the best goalkeepers in the Soviet Union. He went on to win the Soviet championship five times and the Soviet Cup three times with Dynamo. Yashin also had a successful international career, winning the Olympic gold medal in 1956 and the European championship in 1960.
“Black Spider” has over 150 penalty saves and over 270 clean-sheets in his career. He is the only goalkeeper to have won the Ballon d’Or, which explains why he is regarded as the greatest keeper of all time. He was also named IFFHS World Goalkeeper of the Century.
Yashin is often cited as the reason goalkeepers began to wear black, as he would don an all-black kit in order to stand out from the rest of his team. This was a revolutionary move at the time, and it is one that is still used by many keepers today.
The Russian stopper is also credited with popularizing the “sweeper-keeper” role. He was always comfortable with the ball at his feet and would often venture outside of his box to clear up any danger. This style of play is now commonplace among the best keepers in the world.
There’s no doubt that Lev Yashin was a true legend of the game. He revolutionized the way goalkeepers play, and his legacy will live on forever.
Iker Casillas is a Real Madrid legend and one of the greatest goalkeepers and leaders in football history. Casillas has done everything possible to demonstrate his greatness as a goalkeeper. He is also a national icon in Spain, lauded for his performances and success at both club and national levels. He is a source of encouragement to young players and goalkeepers everywhere.
Casillas began his career at Real Madrid, where he achieved the majority of his success. When people think of Real Madrid and goalkeepers, there is only one name that comes to mind: Iker Casillas. That says a lot about Casillas’ legacy.
Casillas has numerous records to his name like Most International clean sheets (102), Youngest goalkeeper to play in a UEFA Champions League final (19 years and 4 days) & many more. He won 5 La Liga titles & 3 UEFA Champions League with Real Madrid. He was the pillar of Spain’s Golden generation which won the FIFA World Cup in 2010 & 2 Euros in 2008 & 2012. He won the IFFHS World’s Best Goalkeeper award 5 times & FIFA World Cup Golden Glove in 2010.
His outstanding performances showcased his athleticism, quick reflexes, footwork, shot-blocking abilities, and so much more. Acrobatic and athletic saves were crucial components of his goalkeeping. He was a fantastic penalty stopper who single-handedly won many games for his team.
No goalkeeper in the history of the game has been as consistently excellent as Manuel Neuer. The German shot-stopper has been a mainstay between the sticks for Bayern Munich and the national team for over a decade, winning numerous titles and individual accolades along the way.
He has won the Bundesliga 10 times in a row with Bayern Munich. He has won two UEFA Champions Leagues with Bayern Munich. The FIFA World Cup in 2014 was his most notable achievement. He was named IFFHS World’s Best Goalkeeper of the Decade (2011-2020) and 5 times IFFHS World’s Best Goalkeeper. He was awarded the Golden Glove for his outstanding performance in the 2014 FIFA World Cup.
The German shot-stopper has been an absolute sensation for both club and nation, taking home every possible trophy. Neuer stands out from other outstanding goalkeepers due to his aptitude for making pivotal plays with both his feet and hands. He can make a last-second save to keep a lead or launch an attack with a fast outlet pass with equal ease. He also has incredible reflexes because of which he appears to be able to grab hold of anything that enters his way.
Neuer has redefined what it means to be a goalkeeper, and his influence can be seen in the way that many of today’s top ‘keepers are playing the game. He is a true leader and a world-class performer, and there’s no doubt that he will go down as one of the all-time greats. Simply put, Manuel Neuer is the greatest goalkeeper of all time. If you need any proof, just watch him in action and you will see why.
Many consider Gianluigi Buffon to be the greatest goalkeeper of all time. Buffon, who was born in Carrara, Italy in 1978, began his professional career with Parma in 1995, making his Serie A debut at the age of 17. He quickly established himself as one of the league’s best young goalkeepers. Buffon joined Juventus in 2001 for a then-world record fee of €52 million.
Buffon was also a vital player of the Italian national team, which won the World Cup in 2006. With over 176 appearances for his country, he is currently the most capped player in Italian history. He has ten Serie A titles for Juventus, but the only disappointing aspect of his career is that he has never won the Champions League.
Individual awards include IFFHS World’s Best Goalkeeper (5 times), Golden Foot, and numerous others. He is one of the few players to have played over 1100 professional matches, which says quite a lot about his exceptional ability to perform at the highest level year after year.
His longevity at the top level is unparalleled, and he has been a key player for both club and country. Buffon’s legacy is secure, and he will go down as one of the greatest players in history.