Ter Stegen, Neuer, Buffon: Who is the best goalkeeper of the decade?

  • Rob Swan

Marc-Andre ter Stegen produced arguably the best performance from any goalkeeper so far this season for Barcelona against Real Sociedad on Wednesday night.

The German shot-stopper was in imperious form for the Catalan club, who reached the Spanish Super Cup final thanks to their world-class ‘keeper’s heroics.

Ter Stegen thwarted La Real on several occasions before saving two penalties in the shootout.

On one Spanish TV channel, Ter Stegen was described as being even “more decisive” for Barça than Lionel Messi right now.

But where does Ter Stegen rank among the best goalkeepers of the decade?

Well, the International Federation of Football for History and Statistics (IFFHS) have just published their list of the top 20 ‘keepers for the period 2011-2020.

Let’s take a closer look at their rankings…

20. Ederson (Brazil) Points: 15

The Brazil international was signed by Manchester City from Benfica in 2017 and has since established his status as one of the best ‘keepers in European football.


19. Sergio Romero (Argentina) Points: 15

Manchester United’s back-up goalkeeper since 2015, Sergio Romero helped Argentine reach the 2014 World Cup final, plus the 2015 and 2016 Copa America finals.


18. Fernando Muslera (Uruguay) Points: 15

Galatasaray’s Fernando Muslera won the Copa America with Uruguay in 2011.


17. Rui Patricio (Portugal) Points: 18

Formerly of Sporting Lisbon, now with Wolves, 32-year-old Rui Patricio won Euro 2016 and the 2018-19 UEFA Nations League with Portugal.


16. Danijel Subasic (Croatia) Points: 23

AS Monaco’s Danijel Subasic was part of the Croatia team that went all the way to the World Cup final in 2018.


15. Joe Hart (England) Points: 30

The Premier League’s Golden Glove winner in 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2015, Joe Hart’s career sadly took a nosedive during the second half of the 2010s.


14. Samir Handanovic (Slovenia) Points: 39

Inter Milan’s No. 1 goalkeeper since his move from Udinese in 2012, Samir Handanovic helped his club reach last season’s Europa League final.


13. Victor Valdes (Spain) Points: 49

One of the most underrated players in Pep Guardiola’s legendary Barcelona team, Victor Valdes left Camp Nou for Manchester United in 2014 but only made two appearances for the Red Devils. He eventually ended his career in 2017 after one season with Middlesbrough.


12. Claudio Bravo (Chile) Points: 51

Claudio Bravo may have struggled at Manchester City, but the 37-year-old performed consistently well for both Real Sociedad and Barcelona prior to his move to England. He also helped Chile win the Copa America in 2015 and 2016.


11. Alisson (Brazil) Points: 64

Alisson left Internacional for AS Roma in 2016 and quickly established his status as one of Europe’s best ‘keepers. Jurgen Klopp then got the chequebook out in 2018 and Liverpool have since won both the Champions League and Premier League with the Brazilian in between the sticks.


10. Iker Casillas (Spain) Points: 67

Arguably the best goalkeeper of his generation and undoubtedly one of Real Madrid’s greatest ever players, Iker Casillas ended his 25-year association with Los Blancos in 2015 before moving on to FC Porto. He announced his retirement from football in August 2020, aged 39.


9. David de Gea (Spain) Points: 75

Manchester United’s Player of the Year on four occasions during the 2010s, David de Gea was regarded by many football fans as the world’s greatest goalkeeper between 2015-2018. His form took a dip after the 2018 World Cup but he remains one of the best in the business.


8. Marc-Andre ter Stegen (Germany) Points: 78

There isn’t another goalkeeper on the planet that Barcelona would swap the aforementioned Ter Stegen for. The 28-year-old is certainly one of the world’s top three ‘keepers at the time of writing.


7. Petr Cech (Czech Republic) Points: 80

Petr Cech enjoyed the best years of his career in the 2000s, rather than the 2010s, although he still managed to win several major titles – including the Premier League, Europa League and Champions League – with Chelsea. He wasn’t incredible during his four-year spell with Arsenal, but that hasn’t tarnished his legacy as a Premier League great.


6. Jan Oblak (Slovenia) Points: 85

Constantly outstanding since joining Atletico Madrid from Benfica in 2014, the exceptional Jan Oblak is a little unfortunate to find himself out of the top five.


5. Keylor Navas (Costa Rica) Points: 93

Still underrated by some, despite all he’s achieved in recent years, Keylor Navas helped Real Madrid win three Champions League titles before joining Paris Saint-Germain in 2019.


4. Hugo Lloris (France) Points: 96

A World Cup winner with France in 2018, Hugo Lloris is now in his ninth season as a Tottenham player.


3. Thibaut Courtois (Belgium) Points: 130

Thibaut Courtois looked genuinely extraordinary during his loan spell with Atletico Madrid. He then returned to Chelsea in 2014 and went on to seal two Premier League winners’ medals with the Blues. The Belgian has experienced mixed fortunes since signing for Real Madrid in 2018 but is undoubtedly a world-class ‘keeper.


2. Gianluigi Buffon (Italy) Points: 148

One of the most legendary goalkeepers of all time, Gianluigi Buffon is still going strong as he approaches his 43rd birthday. He left Juventus for Pairs Saint-Germain in 2018 before returning to Turin one season later. His great dream is to win the Champions League before hanging up his gloves.


1. Manuel Neuer (Germany) Points: 183

Congratulations, Manuel Neuer!

The Bayern Munich and Germany star is IFFHS’s greatest goalkeeper of the decade. Named IFFHS’s World’s Best Goalkeeper in 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2020, there’s absolutely no doubt that the 34-year-old deserves this prestigious title.

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