In football, every player is given an area to play. There are strikers, midfielders, defenders, and a goalkeeper. The role of a goalkeeper is to defend the goalpost and the keeper is allowed to use his hands to catch shots.
Let’s understand the role of a goalkeeper in football
A goalkeeper remains confined to the goal area or maximum to the penalty area. Most of the time, he is alone and he has to rely on his senses and reflexes to stop goals.
Goal Area: A box extending 6 yards from the goalpost is called the goal area.
Penalty Area: A box extending 18 yards from the goalpost is called the penalty area. A goalkeeper can use his hands to defend goals in this area.
A goalkeeper is solely responsible for defending the goalpost. He needs confidence, courage, and the ability to anticipate shots so he can respond quickly to shots coming to the goalpost. Every football team has a goalkeeper and some goalkeepers are the best footballers.
How goalkeepers are rated?
Goalkeepers don’t make goals. They only defend goalposts or they save goals. But it is difficult to count shots stopped by goalkeepers. We need to find a different way to rate goalkeepers. We’ll rank keepers according to their style of play.
1. Manuel Neuer (Germany)
Born: 27 March 1986, Gelsenkirchen, West Germany
Current Team: Bayern Munich
Ranked No. 1 on our table, Manuel Neuer captains both the German national team and club Bayern Munich. His style of play is revolutionary and some pundits even say that he has revolutionized and redefined the role of a goalkeeper in football. He is better known for displaying remarkable shot-stopping capabilities in both club and international tournaments.
2. Gianluigi Buffon (Italy)
Gianluigi Buffon made his Italy debut 24 YEARS AGO today…— GOAL (@goal) October 29, 2021
And he’s still going strong in 2021 😎 pic.twitter.com/2TUtB0nT9t
Born: 28 January 1978, Carrara, Italy
Current Team: Parma
Gianluigi Buffon is the proud captain of Serie B club Parma and winner of The Best FIFA League Goalkeeper in the 2017 season. His is an illustrious career as a goalkeeper and this is evident from his career stats. He has made over 1000 appearances and helped his teams win many matches. The biggest feat of his career is undoubtedly the 2006 World Cup where Italy won by defeating France.
3. Thibaut Courtois (Belgium)
Born: 11 May 1992, Bree, Belgium
Current Team: Real Madrid
Thibaut Courtois is considered a highly promising goalkeeper due to his amazing shot-stopping capabilities. The wide range of skills he has developed makes him a “complete goalkeeper”. His commanding presence on the goalpost is an assurance that the post is fully secure. Also, Thibaut Courtois has enjoyed success at both club-level tournaments and international matches.
4. Hugo Lloris (France)
145 games. Four World Cups. Two World Cup finals. One World Cup trophy.— B/R Football (@brfootball) January 9, 2023
France goalkeeper Hugo Lloris announces he's retiring from international football 🧤 pic.twitter.com/wcoDtjtoiF
Born: 26 December 1986, Nice, France
Current Team: Tottenham Hotspur
Hugo Lloris is one of the few decorated goalkeepers in the world. He has been nominated for the National Union of Professional Footballers (UNFP) Ligue 1 Goalkeeper of the Year award three times in his career. Also, considering his goalkeeping abilities, it can be said that he deserves to be one of the best keepers in the world.
5. Keylor Navas (Costa Rica)
Thank God we took a hard-earned point. This team never gives up and neither do these fans. Thank you for your support!#COYR— Keylor Navas (@NavasKeylor) May 13, 2023
Gracias a Dios nos llevamos un punto muy trabajado. Este equipo nunca se rinde y esta afición tampoco. Gracias por el apoyo! pic.twitter.com/n1TS6Ymrtg
Born: 15 December 1986, Pérez Zeledón, Costa Rica
Current Team: Paris Saint-Germain
Keylor Navas has an impressive start. He is the six-time winner of Liga FPD titles and one CONCACAF Champions League. Also, he has appeared in over 100 matches for Costa Rica. His appearances include two CONCACAF Gold Cups and three FIFA World Cups in 2014, 2018, and 2022. The media clearly stated that it was only due to his efforts that Costa Rica reached the quarter-finals of the World Cup in 2014.
6. Jan Oblak (Slovenia)
Born: 7 January 1993, Škofja Loka, Slovenia
Current Team: Atlético Madrid
Jan Oblak captains Slovenia national team as he is the best footballer in that country. He also plays for Atlético Madrid for which he has won four trophies including the 2020-21 edition of La Liga. His reading of the game is fantastic and his reflexes are amazing. It is very difficult for players to trick Jan Oblak as his impeccable positioning leaves little room for the ball to go inside the net.
7. Petr Čech (Czech Republic)
Born: 20 May 1982, Plzeň, Czechoslovakia
Current Team: Chelmsford Chieftains
Petr Čech is a legendary figure because he plays both football and ice hockey. In football, he has played for the national team and various clubs including Chelsea. Also, he won numerous awards and accolades in football. He is the most capped player with 124 caps in the history of the Czech Republic. Presently he plays for Chelmsford Chieftains as a goaltender in ice hockey.
8. Marc-André ter Stegen (Germany)
Jordi, you’ve been an important player at your club over a decade, winning everything!— Marc ter Stegen (@mterstegen1) May 24, 2023
People will always be grateful for the historical moments you created.
Good luck with your next challenge, wishing you and your family all the best. ❤️ pic.twitter.com/ucIVmUqr70
Born: 30 April 1992, Mönchengladbach, Germany
Current Team: Barcelona
Marc-André ter Stegen is a master of his craft. He is one of the few goalkeepers who can do magic with their reflexes, agility, and senses. There is no parallel for his technical prowess in football and this is evident from his achievements. In 2014, he won the treble in Spain and that was his first season.
9. David de Gea (Spain)
Champions League achieved under the lights of Old Trafford 🔴⚪⚫ pic.twitter.com/HKSd7cvplU— David de Gea (@D_DeGea) May 26, 2023
Born: 7 November 1990, Madrid, Spain
Current Team: Manchester United
David de Gea possesses lightning-fast reflexes that allow him to change positions to safeguard the goalpost. Also, his sense of football is amazing. He can anticipate a shot well in advance and take a position to defend the goal. He is known for his speed and it is the biggest factor that makes him stand out.
10. Iker Casillas (Spain)
Born: 20 May 1981, Móstoles, Spain
Club: Real Madrid 1990-1998
There is a strong reason to include Iker Casillas in this list. We have already taken a goalkeeper from Spain but we can’t drop Iker Casillas because of his experience and achievements. One of the few keepers to appear in over 1000 professional career matches, Iker Casillas was known for his precious performances in both club and international matches.
A goalkeeper is a crucial player in football. He takes the responsibility of safeguarding the goalpost while the entire team tries to score goals on the opponent. The world of football has produced many great goalkeepers but we have listed only those who played from 2011-2020.