During a season full of exhilarating action and unbelievable goals, I want to look at which goalkeepers were the most impressive at keeping these shots out, and which performed the best throughout the season.
So without further ado, I am happy to present my list of last season’s top five goal keepers.
5. David De Gea | Manchester United
Starting of my list at number five, is the 22-year-old Spanish shot-stopper who has a great career ahead of him.
At the start of last season, De Gea’s form wasn’t the best as he struggled to deal with the Premier league’s style of play, and was fighting for the first-choice goalkeeper role with Anders Lindegaard.
However, Sir Alex Ferguson persevered with the Spaniard, and what a good decision that turned out to be. With 28 appearances and 11 clean sheets, De Gea really settled in the United goal, putting in world-class performance after world-class performance, and managed to get himself in the PFA Team of the Year ahead of others like Joe Hart and Petr Cech.
4. Gianluigi Buffon | Juventus
At number four is the legendary Italian goalkeeper, Gianluigi Buffon.
The only reason he isn’t higher in this list is because even by his own high standards it wasn’t his best season. Having said that, Buffon still had a very enviable season, as the security behind one of the best defences in Europe in Juventus.
Buffon was solid and consistent and only had one notable poor performance, which was against Bayern Munich in the Champions League quarter-finals.
Buffon achieved an excellent 20 clean sheets which makes him a very worthy entrant to this list.
3. Diego Lopez | Real Madrid
With an injury to Iker Casillas and no goalkeeping alternatives, Jose Mourinho took drastic action last January by re-signing goalkeeper Diego Lopez from Sevilla.
Everyone all over Spain were surprised by this decision, but his critics were quickly silenced, as Lopez pulled off save after save.
His best performances were arguably in the Champions League - most notably his performance against Manchester United, where Mourinho said: "Diego Lopez was the best player in my team".
This form continued until the end of the season, as he continued to keep Casillas out of the Madrid goal, which definitely secures his place on this list.
2. Roman Weidenfeller | Borussia Dortmund
Borussia Dortmund are one of the most exiting teams in Europe, with their fast paced counter-attacking style. However, one constant in the Dortmund line-up is their undeniably shaky defence.
Last season, Weidenfeller had to be at his best, as arguably Dortmund’s best defender Mats Hummles was injured for large parts of the season.
Luckily Weidenfeller was at his best for a lot of the season, known for his great reading of the game, and often bails out his defenders by coming off his line quickly, and being a ‘keeper sweeper’.
This style of goalkeeping was most apparent in the champions league semi-final against Real Madrid, Weidenfeller came off his line many times to stop what looked like certain Madrid goals.
For his great reading of the game and his loyalty to Dortmund, Roman Weidenfeller definitely deserves the number two spot.
1. Manuel Neuer | Bayern Munich
Now for my number one shot stopper in European football: the German, Manuel Neuer.
The only argument that someone could have for Neuer not deserving the number one spot, is that he didn’t have that much to do, thanks to the utter dominance of the Bayern Munich defence.
However, I believe Neuer is the best goalkeeper because of the records he helped Bayern break, and his solid consistent, and reliable performances when somebody managed to break down the Bayern defence.
Last season Neuer won the record for the most clean sheets kept in the Bundesliga beating the previous record of 19, with an impressive 21 games without conceding a goal.
Bayern also broke the record for least games lost, with 1, and the fewest goals conceded with only 18, which means that Neuer definitely deserves his place as No. 1 on this list.
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