Neuer, Casillas, Buffon: Who is the greatest goalkeeper of all time?

Gianluigi Buffon & Manuel Neuer are two of the greatest goalkeepers in history

Who is the greatest goalkeeper in history?

That’s a question that is very hard to answer, as so many world-class shot-stoppers have graced the sport.

What makes it even more difficult is the fact that the role of a goalkeeper has changed quite drastically – particularly in recent years.

In the past, a ‘keeper was simply someone who stayed between the posts making saves and booted the ball upfield when required to do so.

But in the modern day, those in the role are expected to be nearly as skilful as an outfield player with the ball at their feet.

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As such, it’s incredibly hard to compare goalkeepers from different generations, but that hasn’t stopped football fans from giving it a good go.

Over on Ranker, lovers of the beautiful game have been voting for who they believe is the greatest goalkeeper in history, with the list updated as recently as July 16th this year.

At the time of writing, over 236,000 votes have been cast and you can check out the top 25 in full below.

GMS Giveaway



25. Tim Howard (United States of America)

24. Thibaut Courtois (Belgium)

23. Dida (Brazil)

22. Hugo Lloris

21. Jens Lehmann (Germany)

20. Marc-Andre ter Stegen (Germany)

19. Sepp Maier (Germany)

18. Guillermo Ochoa (Mexico)

17. Fabien Barthez (France)

16. Jan Oblak (Slovenia)

Oblak in action

Howard and Ochoa don’t really belong in a top 25, but the rest of the 10-man group above is pretty solid in our opinion. Atletico Madrid’s Oblak is arguably the best ‘keeper in the business right now and his 16th-place finish is more than deserved. If anything, the Slovenian should be higher up on the list…


15. Gordon Banks (England)

14. Keylor Navas (Costa Rica)

13. David De Gea (Spain)

12. Jose Luis Chilavert (Paraguay)

11. Dino Zoff (Italy)

10. Igor Akinfeev (Russia)

9. Oliver Kahn (Germany)

8. Peter Schmeichel (Denmark)

7. Petr Cech (Czech Republic)

6. Edwin van der Sar (Holland)

Van der Sar with Man Utd

Banks in 15th behind the likes of Akinfeev, De Gea and Chilavert? Not for us. The England legend should be far higher up and mixing it with the likes of Schmeichel, Cech and Van der Sar. Schmeichel’s position also caught us slightly off guard, given that the Dane is regularly labelled the greatest goalkeeper in Premier League history.


5. Manuel Neuer (Germany)

4. Iker Casillas (Spain)

3. Rinat Dasayev (Soviet Union)

2. Gianluigi Buffon (Italy)

1. Lev Yashin (Soviet Union)

Yashin in his playing days

Yashin takes top spot and it’s hard to make an argument as to why he shouldn’t be top of the pile. The man nicknamed ‘The Spider’ is still the only goalkeeper to win the Ballon d’Or and we can’t see that achievement being equalled anytime soon.

A true legend of the sport.

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