Top five: Greatest goalkeepers of all-time

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With the right-back and left-back positions being filled already in our Greatest XI ever, with Cafu and Roberto Carlos, respectively, it's now time to look at the goalkeeper's berth. 

There are a number of superb candidates which has made it very difficult to narrow it down to the best five.

1. Lev Yashin (Dynamo Moscow & Soviet Union)

The champion of this list is regarded by many others who agree that "the Black Spider" was the greatest in history. Yashin was renowned for his immense presence, lightning fast reflexes, incredible athleticism and near-psychic anticipation.

In his exceptional career he managed to keep an outstanding 270 clean sheets and apparently saving 150 penalties! The Dynamo Moscow shot-stopper also made 75 appearances for the Soviet Union, winning the 1956 Olympics and 1960 European Championship. 

No other goalkeeper in the history of the game is as revered as Lev Yashin, giving him the deserved title of the greatest goalkeeper of all time.

2. Iker Casillas (Real Madrid & Spain)

The Madrid stopper has won all there is to be won in domestic football. With five La Liga titles, four Spanish Cups, one Copa Del Rey, two Champions Leagues and a UEFA Super Cup all attest to possibly the greatest goalkeeper of the 21st century. He has consistently tested himself at the highest level of the game and managing to hold onto the Number one jersey at Real Madrid - one of the biggest clubs in world football - is no mean feat. Casillas also holds the record for most International caps of any Spaniard in history, with 145 appearances, only conceding 79 in all that time. He will rightly go down in history as one of the best goalkeepers to have ever graced the game.

3. Gianluigi Buffon (Parma, Juventus & Italy)

Italy’s number one is one of the most individually decorated goalkeepers of our era. He has been named Serie A goalkeeper nine times out of 14 attempts, was voted IFFHS Goalkeeper of the Decade between 2000 and 2010. 

Buffon holds the record for most expensive keeper in history after Juventus paid a staggering £32.6 million to acquire his services. While at Juve the Italian has won four Serie A titles and three Italian Supercoppa’s. Buffon’s most potent attributes was his dominance between the posts and vocal leadership.

4. Peter Schmeichel (Hvidovre, Brondby, Manchester United, Sporting CP, Aston Villa, Manchester City & Denmark)

The Great Dane was the rock on which United’s treble winning season was built on. There are few superlatives that befit this phenomenal goalkeeper who transcended the modern form of shot-stopping with his rapid reflexes and commanding presence in the penalty area. 

In total, Schmeichel secured three Danish titles, one Danish Cup, five Premier League titles three FA Cups, one League Cup and one Champions League title – an impressive haul by anyone’s standard.

5. Oliver Kahn (Karlsruher SC, Bayern Munich & Germany)

Many consider this German colossus to be one of the finest keepers of his generation after becoming the only goalkeeper in international history to gain the FIFA World Cup Golden Ball, naming him the Player of the Tournament. 

Possibly the greatest ever in on-on-one situations, the fiery German simply dominated his opponents. He has eight Bundesliga titles, six German Cups, one Champions League and a UEFA Cups to his name.


Obviously this is a difficult topic to judge so it would be interesting to hear your views. Please feel free to leave your comments below.


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