Football

Top Ten : Greatest Goalkeepers of all-time

Madrid's Casillas is surely one of the all-time greats. (©GettyImages)
Madrid's Casillas is surely one of the all-time greats. (©GettyImages).

Goalkeepers are a different breed of a footballer. A great goalkeeper makes impossible saves, provides unfailing consistency, dominates his defence and gives belief to the whole team.

But which of the great shot-stoppers would make it in a list of the top ten greatest?

GMS Academy member Thanos Batzios looks at the ten best ever:

10. Jean-Marie Pfaff

Some would say that goalkeepers like Edwin Van Der Sar, Peter Shilton or Rinat Dasaev could earn a spot in this list, but anyone who have witnessed Pfaff in his good days, would say that he truly deserves this spot.
The Belgian keeper was one of the best in the '80s, mostly remembered for his time at Bayern, where he celebrated three Bundesligas.

9. Michel Preud'homme

Right after Pfaff was starting to age, another great shot-stopper appeared for Belgium. 
Club Brugge's current coach, Michel Preud'homme, was well-known for his terrific reflexes and agility. He was voted as the greatest goalkeeper in the world in the year 1994.

8. Oliver Kahn

The goalkeeper from Germany is greatly remembered for his stunning performances in the 2002 World Cup. He also was the hero for Bayern Munich in the 2001 Champion's League final, where he stopped Mauricio Pellegrino's last penalty in the game's shout-out - and gave the title to the German side.
With his crude looks, unkempt hair, titanic frame, terrifying war-cries and overall fearlessness, Kahn was more than just a talented keeper. He was, and remains, an icon.

7. Sepp Maier

The greatest German goalkeeper of all-time, Sepp Maier won absolutely everything there is to win. Maier played his whole career at the Bavarians of Bayern Munich, where he celebrated three consecutive European Cups. He was also a pillar under 1974 Germany's success in the World Cup. His goalkeeping skills where so perfect and his reflexes so fast, that fans used to call him "Die Katze von Anzing" (the cat from Anzing).

6. Dino Zoff

The Italian Dino Zoff is the man who holds the record for the longest playing time without allowing goals in international tournaments (1142 minutes) set between 1972 and 1974. Mostly remembered for his time at Juventus, he is also voted as the 3rd best goalkeeper of the 20th century.

5. Gordon Banks

Banks is included in the category of the footballers that will always be remembered for one moment. His famous moment, is the save of Pele's header in the 1970 World Cup, showing his impossible reflexes and making his save be considered as the greatest ever.

He was though, more than a man of a moment... One of the most important pillars under England 1966 World Cup win, he is one of the greatest players to ever put on a pair of gloves.

4. Gianluigi Buffon

Gigi is widely considered as one of the best goalkeepers we've ever seen. His outstanding shot-stopping ability and his great personality are the reasons he is the most capped player in the Italian national team's history, with 137 appearances. He is also the most expensive purchase in the history of Juventus, where he is the current captain.

3. Iker Casillas

Casillas is Real Madrid's and Spain's best shot-stopper of-all-time. 
His name should be etched on the goal posts of the Bernabeu. Real Madrid's defence was a shambles for years just as well "Saint Iker" was plugging the gaps season after season.
Besides all that, his brilliant anticipation, presence in the box and incredibly fast reflexes made him a true saviour in the first and only World Cup that Spain has won, in 2010.

2. Peter Schmeichel

Peter Schmeichel is arguably the best goalkeeper this world has seen for the past 50 years. A colossal presence under the bars and with his wise-inducing physique and his outstanding agility, Peter Schmeichel was more than just a stopper of balls – he was an icon. He was part of Manchester United's title-winning sides for nearly a decade.

He was voted as the best goalkeeper in the world three times and he has the insane record of 42 per cent clean sheets in the Premier League, more than any other goalkeeper.

1. Lev Yashin

Yashin is unquestionably the greatest goalkeeper that ever lived.

The "black spider" was a mythical and legendary presence under the bars. He stopped more than 150 penalties during his great career. He also kept a clean sheet for 270 games.

The Russian player is the only goalkeeper to ever win a Ballon d'Or - and he gave the name to the prestigious Yashin award, the award that goes to the best shot-stopper of the World Cup.

Honourable mentions : Edwin Van Der Sar, Peter Shilton, Petr Cech, Amadeo Carrizo, Rinat Dasaev.

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