Goalkeepers are an essential position to the football line-up yet they do not get as much recognition as any other position. We take a closer look at some of the best shot stoppers in the world.

1. Iker Casilias | Real Madrid and Spain

Since deriving from the youth ranks of Real Madrid, the Spaniard has maintained the number one spot for Real Madrid since he was a teenager. Having recently picked up two Euro Championships and one World Cup, Casillas has done a good job keeping out Barcelona keeper Victor Valdes. The 31-year-old has also helped Madrid clinch the title five times, winning one title as captain. A true mastermind in between the goal posts, Casillas has been classified as the greatest keeper in the world by many neutral fans.

2. Manuel Neuer | Bayern Munich

Even at the age of 20, Manuel Neuer was already tipped to be the potential successor of German number one goalkeeper at that time, Jens Lehman. After impressing in the 2010/2011 season with Schalke 04, Bayern Munich agreed a £13 million deal. With a strong dislike from some Munich fans about the signing due to Neuer having previously played for Schalke, a decent string of performances won the fans over. 

Manuel Neuer broke the Bayern Munich record for the longest amount of time without conceding a goal. The 27-year-old went over 1000 minutes without conceding and beat the old record that former keeper Oliver Kahn held. 

3. Gianluigi Buffon | Juventus

Despite being well into his 30's and prolonged with injuries, the Italian has made gained a legendary reputation in the last decade. His best performances include helping Italy win the 2006 World Cup and clinching many a trophy for Juventus. The 35-year-old is currently still the most expensive goalkeeper of all time after his switch from Parma to Juventus in 2001. 

4. Victor Valdes | Barcelona 

Victor Valdes has been the most successful goalkeeper in Barcelona's club history, having won five league titles and three Champions League titles. Despite his undeniable success and consistency, Valdes has struggled to make the Spain starting XI throughout his career due to the great talent of Iker Casillas.

5. Joe Hart | Manchester City

Having only been bought for £600,000 from Shrewsbury Town, Hart has proved to be a great bargain for Manchester City and played a big part in last season's Premier League title win. Despite lacking in experience compared to the other names on this list, Hart has made very few mistakes for both club and country and has even more potential for the future.

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