Football History: 52 Legendary Goalkeepers

Football History: 52 Legendary Goalkeepers

Thursday, October 27, 2016 4:28 pm

Ball in the net

Ball in the net

Rintu Biswas

A goalkeeper occupies one of the most significant positions in the team. In the history of soccer, there has been no winning team which did not have a strong and agile goalkeeper.

The qualities of effective communication, good reflexes and amazing handling of the ball should be present in a successful goalkeeper and not all football players have them. Therefore, keeping the virtues of great goalkeeping in mind, we have complied an exhaustive list of some of the legendary soccer keepers who knew their job well and changed the way the world perceived goalkeeping and its techniques.

Let’s look at some of the glorious decades of soccer history and know about 52 best soccer goalkeepers of all-time!

Angelo Peruzzi

Full name Angelo Peruzzi
Date of birth February 16, 1970
Place of birth Blera, Viterbo, Italy
Height 5′ 11?
National team Italy
Caps 31

About: Peruzzi has been hailed as one of the most promising goalkeepers of Italy till date. His association with A.S. Roma started off his career but he touched the peak of success when he signed for Juventus in the year 1991. At this time, he outperformed the famous Stephano Tacconi and became the choice of the club as the starting keeper.

Angelo Peruzzi

Angelo Peruzzi

Apart from his remarkable performance in Series A with the club Juventus, which earned him the Series A Goal Keeper of the Year award three times and Guerin d’oro in the year 1997. He won several trophies such as the Coppa Italia title, the UEFA Cup, the UEFA Super Cup (two times), Supercoppa Italiana Cups (two times) and was an integral part of the UEFA Champions League.

He received the chance to play for the Italy national football team as many as 31 times and became the first-choice keeper of Maldini, then the Italian coach, after the 1998 World Cup.

He was one of the winning members of the team when Italy won the 2006 FIFA World cup and represented the country on many honorable occasions such as UEFA Euro 96, 1992 Olympics and UEFA Euro 2004.

Petr Cech

Petr Cech Footballer
Full name Petr Cech
Date of birth 20 May 1982
Place of birth Plzen, Czechoslovakia
Height 6’ 5”
National team Czech Republic
Caps 124

About: Petr Cech is remembered by the Czech national team as the only player with the highest number of caps or 124 caps. Cech received the honor of captaincy in the Czech Republic national team and represented his country in many major football games such as the European Championships in the years 2004, 2008, 2012 and 2016 and 2006 World Cup.

The association of Cech with Chelsea in the year 2004 deserves special mention because he won 3 Football League Cups, 4 FA Cups and Premier League titles, 1 UEFA Europa League and 1 UEFA Champions League for the club, which earned him the record of 220 clean sheets and the 6th position in Chelsea’s all-time appearances list with 486 official appearances.

In case of goalkeeping, Cech has outperformed the international record of 169 saves of David James with his recent 178 saves. Moreover, he remained unbeaten for an astounding 928 minutes on the field for Sparta Prague and set a record with Czech professional league with 908 competitive minutes.

For his outstanding goalkeeping performance, he received the Premier League Golden Glove Award four times in his lifetime. Cech continues to play today with the club Arsenal.

Andoni Zubizarreta

Andoni Zubizarreta
Full name Andoni Zubizarreta Urreta
Date of birth 23 October 1961
Place of birth Vitoria, Spain
Height 6’ 2”
National team Spain
Caps 125

About: Andoni Zubizarreta is popularly known as ‘Zubi.’ He is reputed as one of the most famous male goalkeepers in the history of FC Barcelona but played a very significant role for the prosperity of Spanish soccer in general. He remained at the top of the most capped players list of Spanish national team with 126 caps for many years and represented his nation for many international soccer tournaments such as the 1988 and 1996 UEFA Euro Cups and 1986, 1990, 1994 and 1998 World Cups.

His career with FC Barcelona gave him many individual successes and, in return, he gifted the team with four major league wins, including the 1992 European Cup which the club won for the first time. Moreover, he entered the club by replacing the legendary goalkeeper Urruti and became a successful part of the Barcelona ‘Dream Team.’

Zubizarreta served the role of the captain in Barcelona for many years. He was known for his excellent positioning between the sticks and calm nerves.

He retired at the age of 37 in the 1997-98 campaign after successfully appearing in as many as 1000 football games with the record of conceding 626 goals.

Hans van Breukelen

Hans van Breukelen Goalkeeper
Full name Johannes Franciscus van Breukelen
Date of birth 4 October 1956
Place of birth Utrecht, Netherlands
Height 6’ 2”
National team Netherlands
Caps 73

About: Hans van Breukelen is regarded as one of the best male goalkeepers of Netherland. This former footballer started his career with BVC Youth Academy and joined the reserve team of FC Utrecht. But, his excellent goalkeeping abilities helped the team reach the finals of KNVB Cup.

He gradually earned the fame of the most efficient penalty saver and joined the Nottingham Forest for which he played 142 Eredivisie games in totality.

He suffered considerable injury after playing 13 games with the club which caused his absence in four consecutive games. But his return pushed the team to the semi-finals of UEFA Cup which Nottingham Forest eventually lost.
His playing for his native team PSV Eindhoven proved to be highly fruitful for van Breukelen as he saved the penalty kick of Antonio Veloso and the club ultimately lifted the European Cup. He went on to receive the Dutch Goalkeeper of the Year award in 1988 and earned the Dutch cup for PSV in 1990 along with two more major league titles.

He represented his nation in the 1990 World Cup and Euro 1992 and served the position of the Director of Football in FC Utrecht. Currently, he serves both the entrepreneurial and directorial roles at PSV.

Gianluca Pagliuca

Gianluca Pagliuca Goalkeeper
Full name Gianluca Pagliuca
Date of birth 18 December 1966
Place of birth Bologna, Italy
Height 6’ 3”
National team Italy
Caps 39

About: Gianluca Pagliuca is referred to as one of the greatest male goalkeepers in the history of Italian football. In his significant club career, he played for many notable clubs of the 1990s era such as Sampdoria, Bologna, Internazionale and Ascoli. He helped Sampdoria to win the Cup Winners’ Cup and Scudetto. With his aid, the club reached the final of UEFA Cup.

His contribution was one of the reasons for which Internazionale won the UEFA Cup in 1998. He was the first-choice goalkeeper of Italy in the 1990 World Cup in which he was suspended for some matches due to his handling of the ball in off areas. But, his glorious return helped the Italian team reach the final round which they lost to Brazil.

Petr Cech

Petr Cech

Pagliuca is regarded as the first ever goalkeeper who saved the penalty shot of Marcio Santos in a World Cup penalty shootout. But, higher competitiveness among the Italian goalkeepers at that time prevented this star to show consistency in his goalkeeping skills.

His performance between the sticks, agility and marvelous leadership qualities have earned him the 4th rank in the top 10 Italian players with most appearances.

Ronnie Hellström

Ronnie Hellström
Full name Ronnie Carl Hellström
Date of birth 21 February 1949
Place of birth Malmö, Sweden
Height 6’ 3 1/2”
National team Sweden
Caps 77

About: Hellstrom is a prominent name in the Swedish goalkeeping history and has been considered as one of the best soccer goalkeepers of Sweden. As Hellstrom was associated with two underrated teams, Hammarby and Kaiserslautern during his professional tenure, he could not attract the attention of the media.

He initiated his professional career with Hammarby but joined FC Kaiserslautern in the year 1974. With his presence, Kaiserslautern became the runner-up in the DFB-Pokal twice but could not win the trophy. He played 266 Bundesliga matches for the club before he took the decision of retirement in 1984.

Hellstrom also helped his nation to earn the fifth place in 1974 FIFA World Cup and secured 77 caps in his professional career. He was awarded the Swedish Golden Ball in 1971 and 1978 and is known to be the best Swedish goalkeeper of the 1970s.

Enrico Albertosi

Enrico Albertosi Goalkeeper
Full name Enrico Albertosi
Date of birth 2 November 1939
Place of birth Pontremoli, Italy
Height 5’ 11 1/2“
National team Italy
Caps 34

About: The world of Italian Soccer remembers Enrico Albertosi as an ill-tempered but highly athletic Goalkeeper who served the nation in the 1966 and 1970 World Cup as the starting goalkeeper. Apart from his eccentric moves in the field, he is regarded as one of the greatest male goalkeepers that Italy has ever witnessed.

Albertosi rose to national prominence when he made his debut in Series A in the year 1958 and helped the team Fiorentina to win the European Cup Winners’ Cup once, Coppa Italia trophies twice and the Mitropa Cup in 1966. His association with Cagliari Calcio resulted in their historical winning of Scudetto in the 1969-1970 season. He also won a Coppa Italia as well as the Series A championship medal for A.C. Milan.

His debut for the Italian national team was against Argentina in which Italy fetched a win with a clear 4-1 victory. He played in his national team in both the 1966 and 1970 World Cups as the first-choice goalkeeper but could not lift the trophy.

His use of acrobatic skills to make saves is highly celebrated which inspired many aspiring footballers of the future generations.

Luis Arconada

Luis Arconada Goalkeeping
Full name Luis Miguel Arconada Etxarri
Date of birth 26 June 1954
Place of birth San Sebastián, Spain
Height 5’ 10”
National team Spain
Caps 68

About: Hailed as one of the best male goalkeepers in the world, Luis Arconada devoted 20 years of his professional career to playing for Real Sociedad and represented his nation Spain on many occasions.

He initiated as the back-up goalkeeper of legendary Urruti in Real Sociedad but became the first-choice goalkeeper very soon. He helped his club in winning the La Liga seasons and reaching the semi-finals of the European Cup. He was called “El Pulpo” or the Octopus for his excellent goal saving capabilities.

He made his first debut for his country in a friendly game against Hungary which resulted in a tie. Severe injuries compelled him to withdraw from the 1986 FIFA World Cup. He received the opportunity of playing the role of captaincy in the national team in many crucial tournaments and participated in the 1978 and 1982 FIFA World Cups as well as 1980 and 1984 UEFA Euro Cups. His unfortunate mistake in the 84 Euro became the major reason for which Spain eventually lost to Italy.

He was honored with the Supercopa de Espana in 1982 and the Zamora trophy in several seasons in the 1980s.

Ray Clemence

Ray Clemence Goalkeeping
Full name Raymond Neal Clemence
Date of birth 5 August 1948
Place of birth Skegness, Lincolnshire, England
Height 6’ 0”
National team England
Caps 61

About: Liverpool remembers Ray Clemence as one of the greatest male footballers who ever played for the club. He joined the club in 1967 and served the reserved side. The phenomenal goalkeeping abilities of Clemence, which were evident in his saving one of the penalty shots of Borussia Mönchengladbach, helped Liverpool win both the League titles and the UEFA Cups in the 1972-73 and 1975-76 seasons.

Liverpool’s spectacular performance, which helped the club win the FA cup in 1973, added another feather on the hat of Clemence. Liverpool went on to win the 1976 UEFA Cup as well but lost the FA cup of that year to Manchester United with Clemence protecting the goal post.

Clemence represented his nation England between the time period of 1972-1984 and obtained his first clean sheet in the World Cup qualifier in 1972. He also received the role of captaincy for his national team but lost the friendly match to Brazil. Clemence managed to earn 61 caps before he was replaced by Peter Shilton. He was appointed as the goal keeping coach of England in 1996 and served as the head of the development team of F.A.

Neville Southall

Full name Neville Southall
Date of birth 16 September 1958
Place of birth Llandudno, Wales
Height 6’ 1”
National team Wales
Caps 92

About: Neville Southall is a glorious name in the history of Welsh football and remembered as one of the best football goalkeepers in the world. He signed for Everton in the year 1981 and, within a short period of time, turned into the first-choice goalkeeper for the 1983-84 season. Everton reached the peak of all soccer charts with winning First Division championship medal in the 1984–85 and 1986–87 seasons, FA Cup in 1984 and 1995 and European Cup Winners’ Cup in 1985. He helped Everton to win the FA Charity Shield winners medal four times and reach the finals of League Cup in 1984.

He represented his nation in many games and earned 92 caps in his goalkeeping career. He earned the honor of PFA Team of the Year several times and has been regarded by the World Soccer magazine as one of the 100 Greatest Players of the 20th Century.

He also appeared on the top 10 Goal keepers’ list published by International Federation of Football History & Statistics four times which is suggestive of his enduring international success and popularity.

Michel Preud’homme

Michel Preud’homme Goalkeeping
Full name Michel Georges Jean Ghislain Preud’Homme
Date of birth 24 January 1959
Place of birth Ougree, Belgium
Height 6’ 0”
National team Belgium
Caps 58

About: Michel Preud’homme became one of the top male goalkeepers of his time and enjoyed an excellent soccer career as a goalkeeper. He joined Standard Liège at the age of 10 and turned out to be the first foreign player in the club history of Benfica. After making a successful debut against the Beira-Mar, he helped Benfica lift their first Portuguese Cup in the year 1996.

Preud’homme remained very popular due to his outstanding agility and incredible goal saving skills and the Belgian fans cheered by calling him “Saint Michel.”

He also played for Mechelen and was part of the winning team of Belgium Cup in 1987. With Preud’homme between the sticks, Mechelen grabbed the European Super Cup as well as the Cup Winners’ Cup in 1988 and Belgian league title in 1989. Preud’homme also played for his nation Belgium in both the 1990 and 1994 World Cup but could not bring the trophy home. But, Preud’homme managed to keep a clean sheet in every game which earned him the Yashin Award and the Best Goalkeeper award in 1994 World Cup.

He also appeared for Belgium in the 1980 and 1996 UEFA Euro matches and currently coaches the club Brugge.

José Luis Chilavert

José Luis Chilavert Footballer
Full name José Luis Félix Chilavert González
Date of birth 27 July 1965
Place of birth Luque, Paraguay
Height 6’ 2”
National team Paraguay
Caps 74

About: José Luis Chilavert is the 2nd Goalkeeper in the world with an outstanding record of scoring 67 goals and stands only next to Brazilian goalkeeper Rogério Ceni. This Paraguayan former goalkeeper had been associated with multiple clubs, such as Real Zaragoza, Guaraní, San Lorenzo de Almagro, Sportivo Luqueño, RC Strasbourg and Peñarol, and was very popular for his ability for delivering free-kicks with precision and mastery. One of the top male goalkeepers of all-time, Chilavert also holds the record of scoring a hat-trick during penalty shoot-out against Ferro Carril Oeste in the year 1999.

He contributed quite significantly for the prosperity of Vélez Sarsfield and won 12 notable titles including 1994 Intercontinental Cup as well as the 1994 Copa Libertadores for them. A three time-winner of IFFHS World’s Best Goalkeeper, Chilavert was endearingly known as ‘El Buldog’ or the Bulldog to his fans. He also earned 74 caps for representing his nation Paraguay and played major tournaments such as 1991, 1993 and 1997 Copa América tournaments and 1998 and 2002 FIFA World Cups.

Walter Zenga

Walter Zenga Goalkeeping
Full name Walter Zenga
Date of birth 28 April 1960
Place of birth Milan, Italy
Height 6’ 2”
National team Italy
Caps 58

About: As per the Italian pundits, Walter Zenga is one of the best soccer goalkeepers that Italy has ever produced. His major soccer achievements came when he was associated with the popular Italian club Internazionale.

Zenga holds the records of the longest streak by finishing in the 4th rank in 1984 Olympics and 3rd in the 1990 FIFA World Cup in which he also served as the starting goalkeeper. With his excellent management and goal-saving skills, Internazionale won major tournaments, such as Italian Series A in the 1988-89 season, Italian Super Cup in 1989, and became two-time winners of the UEFA Cup in the year 1991 and 1994 respectively.

Zenga received the honor of being World’s Best Goalkeeper by IFFHS thrice in his professional career and became the UEFA Goalkeeper of the Year in 1990. He earned 58 caps for his national team and represented his nation for 1988 European Championship as well as 1986 and 1990 World Cups. He was given the name of ‘Uomo Ragno’ of the Spider-Man when he made the record of five clean sheets consecutively within 518 minutes without conceding a goal.

Toni Schumacher

Toni Schumacher
Full name Harald Anton Schumacher
Date of birth 6 March 1954
Place of birth Düren, West Germany
Height 6’ 1”
National team Germany
Caps 76

About: Harald Anton Schumacher was popularly known as Toni Schumacher who represented his nation West Germany in 76 international tournaments including the 1982 and 1986 FIFA World Cups but could not lift the trophy. He played for 15 qualifying World Cup matches for West Germany.

Very famous for his marvelous positioning between the sticks, Schumacher mastered the art of throwing the ball with one-arm on the field. He also appeared in the 1980 European Championship and became a part of the winning team. Schumacher also earned some notorious reputation for his sudden and severe collision with the French defender Patrick Battiston which made the latter unconscious on the ground. Some soccer fans and experts are of the opinion that this collision was intentionally done by Schumacher. It continues to be one of the most controversial World Cup issues till date.

He also served as the coach of SC Fortuna Köln for some time and remains one of the most preferred German footballer of all time.

Jean-Marie Pfaff

Jean-Marie Pfaff
Full name Jean-Marie Pfaff
Date of birth 4 December 1953
Place of birth Lebbeke, Belgium
Height 5’ 11”
National team Belgium
Caps 64

About: Jean-Marie Pfaff is a former Belgian goalkeeper who played for many major clubs like Beveren, Bayern Munich, Lierse and Trabzonspor in his professional career and made outstanding goalkeeping records for which he was regarded as one of the Top 125 Greatest Living Footballers by soccer legendary Pele.

He started his career with K.S.K. Beveren and won many major titles such as the Belgian Cup in 1978 and the Belgian Champion title in 1979. He was graced with the Belgian Golden Shoe in 1978 for his outstanding goalkeeping abilities. His association with the Bayern Munich made the club win many major tournaments such as Bundesliga titles for consecutive three years and two German Cups. He represented his nation 64 times and appeared in the 1980 and 1984 Euro Cups and the 1982 and 1986 World Cups.

Pfaff was a part of the FIFA World Cup All-Star Team in 1986 and became the World’s Best Goalkeeper by IFFHS in the 1987. He also received the Golden Foot Legends Award in the year 2014.

Edwin van der Sar

Edwin van der Sar
Full name Edwin van der Sar
Date of birth 29 October 1970
Place of birth Voorhout, Netherlands
Height 6’ 5 1/2”
National team Netherlands
Caps 130

About: Edwin van der Sar is one of the greatest male goalkeepers in the history of Netherlands Football. Van der Sar has played for major clubs such as Manchester United, Fulham, Juventus and Ajax and is considered to be the only player by Netherlands national team holding the highest number of caps or 130 till date.

He was an integral part of the golden generation of Ajax where he spent nine years of his professional career. He is also the only player who has lifted the trophy of UEFA champions League while playing for two different teams- Ajax and Manchester United. He helped Ajax win the UEFA cup in 1992 and was considered the UEFA Man of the Match in 2008. As per the soccer experts, Van de Sar is one of the most successful goalkeepers of all time due to his contributions in fetching 25 major trophies for both Manchester United and Ajax. He also holds the international record of keeping clean sheet for 1,311 minutes without conceding a goal.

Andoni Zubizarreta

Andoni Zubizarreta

This outstanding soccer keeper retired at the age of 40 and received many eminent honors such as UEFA Goalkeeper of the Year in the year 2009 and Best European Goalkeeper in 1995 and 2009 respectively.

Pat Jennings

Patrick Anthony Jennings
Full name Patrick Anthony Jennings
Date of birth 12 June 1945
Place of birth Newry, Northern Ireland
Height 6’ 0”
National team Northern Ireland
Caps 119

About: Pat Jennings has often been regarded as one of the best male goalkeepers in the history of Northern Ireland football who represented his nation in 119 games and set a world record of being the most capped player at that time. Due to his marvelous goalkeeping skills, he received the opportunity to play with many major clubs like Tottenham Hotspur, Arsenal, Watford and Newry Town in his professional career which lasted for 22 years.

Jennings started playing at the age of 11. He was moved to the Third Division of Watford in the year 1963 and his extraordinary goalkeeping techniques made him associated with Tottenham Hotspur for which he won the FA Cup in 1967 and lifted the league Cup and UEFA Cup within the time period of 1971-1973. For his glorious contribution, he became the first one to receive the honor of being the Footballer of the Year by Football Writers’ Association in 1973. Arsenal reached the final of many major tournaments such as the European Cup Winners’ Cup and the FA Cup with him as the first-choice goal keeper.

He is also the first Footballer who had made 1,000 senior appearances, including 237 in the leagues, for several clubs.

Iker Casillas

Iker Casillas Goalkeeping
Full name Iker Casillas Fernández
Date of birth 20 May 1981
Place of birth Móstoles, Spain
Height 6’ 1”
National team Spain
Caps 167

About: Iker Casillas is one of the most famous male goalkeepers in the history of Spain football who have played as many as 167 tournaments for his country and this earned him the 5th rank in the most capped male footballer list and the 1st rank as a European player.

Casillas signed the famous football club Real Madrid in the year 1990 and remained active for 16 seasons in which he also served as the captain in the club. Some of the major trophies won by him for Real Madrid include four Supercoppa de España titles within the time period of 2000-2012, two UEFA Super Cups, three UEFA Champions League titles and two Copa del Rey titles. With incredible record of appearing 725 times for the Real Madrid made him the second most capped player in Real Madrid.

Casillas also holds the record of winning World’s Best Goalkeeper Award for five years consecutively. Two of his most celebrated national achievements are the 2010 World Cup, which Spain won for the first time, and 2012 European Championship.

Ubaldo Fillol

Ubaldo Matildo Fillol
Full name Ubaldo Matildo Fillol
Date of birth July 21, 1950
Place of birth San Miguel del Monte, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Height 5’ 11 1/2”
National team Argentina
Caps 58

About: Popular as ‘El Pato’ or the Duck, Ubaldo Fillol was one of the top male goalkeepers of South America. He received the chance to represent his nation Argentina consecutively in the 1974, 1978, 1982 and 1986 World Cups.

Hans Van Breukelen

Hans Van Breukelen

He rose to national prominence in the year 1972 with saving the six penalties while playing for an Argentinean league. Fillol rose to the peak of his career during the 1978 World Cup when his marvelous goal saving abilities helped his national team to lift the World Cup.

He was very popular for his swift reflexes and he mastered the art of positional playing and blocking of shots. He managed to keep 4 clean sheets in the World Cup games. He played the qualifier of the 1986 World Cup but was not selected to appear for the finals. He was awarded the Argentina Footballer of the Year in the year 1977 and remains the first ever goalkeeper to achieve this honor.

He currently provides goalkeeping coaching to the Argentina national team and the Racing Club.

Peter Shilton

Peter Shilton
Full name Peter Leslie Shilton
Date of birth 18 September 1949
Place of birth Leicester, England
Height 6’ 1”
National team England
Caps 125

About: Peter Shilton holds the phenomenal record of being the most-capped player of England men’s team with as many as 125 caps. He is also the only international player who has played 1,362 official matches as a goalkeeper, making him one of the greatest male goalkeepers of all-time.

Shilton has played 100 league games in his professional career of 30 years and has been associated with 11 major clubs including Stoke City, Leicester City, Plymouth Argyle, Derby County, Southampton, Nottingham Forest etc. He played for his nation England in 1980 and 1988 UEFA Euro Cups. Shilton received the chance of appearing in the World Cup at the age of 32 and was a part of the England team in the 1982, 1986 and 1990 FIFA World Cups. He holds the record of having 10 clean sheets for England with French goalkeeper Fabien Barthez in the World Cup finals. Shilton significantly contributed to the success of Nottingham Forest and won many major trophies such as the European Cup, the Football League Cup, the UEFA Super Cup and the First Division Championship.

Rinat Dasayev

Rinat Fayzrakhmanovich Dasayev
Full name Rinat Fayzrakhmanovich Dasayev
Date of birth June 13, 1957
Place of birth Astrakhan, Russian SFSR, Soviet Union
Height 6’ 2 1/2”
National team Soviet Union
Caps 91

About: Rinat Dasayev is considered as one of the greatest male goalkeepers in the world in the 1980s. Dasayev appeared in three World Cup tournaments for his nation Russia and secured the 2nd rank in the Best Russian Goalkeeper list after Lev Yashin.

His mastery in the goalkeeping skills earned him various nicknames such as ‘The Iron Man’ and ‘The cat.’ He played for Spartak Moscow and won the Soviet Championships in 1979 and 1987 respectively. The famous Russian magazine Ogonyok ranked him as the topmost Soviet Goalkeeper five times. He also won the honor of being the Soviet Footballer of the Year in 1982 and World’s Best Goalkeeper of the year in 1988 by IFFHS.

Dasayev represented Russia and won the bronze medal in the Olympics which was held in 1980. Apart from playing in the 1982, 1986 World Cup games consecutively, he was also part of the Euro 88 Russian team.

Dasayev retired in 1990 after earning 91 caps which made him the second most capper player in the history of Russian Football.

Oliver Kahn

Oliver Rolf Kahn
Full name Oliver Rolf Kahn
Date of birth 15 June 1969
Place of birth Karlsruhe, West Germany
Height 6’ 2”
National team Germany
Caps 86

About: Oliver Kahn is regarded as one of the most prosperous and popular German players of all time. He actively participated in all the major tournaments for his nation Germany between the time period of 1994-2006 and the team reached the finals of 2002 FIFA World Cup for his amazing goal-saving techniques in which they lost to Brazil. But, Kahn was given the Golden Ball, the highest goalkeeping honor of the World Cup, and was declared as the best player of the tournament. He also won the 1996 UEFA European Championship for the team.

His aggressive presence on the field and superb soccer techniques earned him many nicknames such as ‘Der Titan’ or The Titan and ‘Vol-kahn-o’ or the Volcano. He won many major titles such as DFB-Pokal (six times), Bundesliga title (eight times), UEFA Champions League trophy, UEFA Cup and the Intercontinental Cup.

He received the honor of winning UEFA Best European Goalkeeper awards for four consecutive times, German Footballer of the Year twice and World’s Best Goalkeeper award by IFFHS three times in his professional career.

Amadeo Carrizo

Amadeo Raúl Carrizo
Full name Amadeo Raúl Carrizo
Date of birth June 12, 1926
Place of birth Rufino, Argentina
Height 6’ 2”
National team Argentina
Caps 20

About: Amadeo Carrizo is an iconic figure in the history of South America who contributed in the evolution of goalkeeping techniques. He was the first to put on gloves and brought innovation to goalkeeping strategies in his excellent professional career for which IFFHS awarded him with the honor of One of the Top Ten Keepers of the 20th Century.

Carrizo is also considered the pioneer of positional play who taught how leaving the penalty area during shoot-out could be advantageous and how goal kicks could be used as one of the counter attack strategies. He started his professional career with a win which he fetched for River Plate in a match against Independiente. He grabbed five championship trophies for Argentina within the time period of 1952-1957. He played 8 consecutive matches without conceding a goal and set a record. Apart from River Plate, he had also played for Alianza Lima and Millonarios and won the Copa Mustang for the club.

Sepp Maier

Sepp Maier
Full name Josef Dieter Maier
Date of birth 28 February 1944
Place of birth Metten, Germany
Height 6’ 1”
National team West Germany
Caps 95

About: There has been very few goalkeepers who blended team spirit with superbly faster reflexes in the European history and Sepp Maier is one of those few. Hailed as one of the top male goalkeepers of Germany of all-time, Maier was given the name of ‘Die Katze von Anzing’ or The cat from Anzing. He was also a part of Bayern team, which included famous footballers like Gerd Muller and Franz Beckenbauer, and set a record by lifting the European Cup as many as three times. His 442 appearance in the Bundesliga matches consecutively continues to remain as the highest in the national football record of Germany.

He represented West Germany for four World Cups in a row and became the starting goalkeeper in the 1970 FIFA World Cup. He rose to national prominence when his contribution made Germany reach the 1974 FIFA World Cup finals. He also won the 1972 European Championship but lost the 1976 European Championship to Czechoslovakia.

He retired from his goalkeeping career after earning 95 caps. He also served as the goalkeeping coach of both Germany and Bayern Munich.

Gianluigi Buffon

Gianluigi Buffon
Full name Gianluigi Buffon
Date of birth 28 January 1978
Place of birth Carrara, Tuscany, Italy
Height 6’ 3”
National team Italy
Caps 161

About: Gianluigi Buffon plays for the Italian national team and serves the role of captaincy in the club Juventus and the national team with the record of retaining 161 caps for his country. Considered as one of the greatest goalkeepers of all-time, he is celebrated for his amazing leadership styles and abilities of saving shots. He holds the world record of standing unbeaten for 974 competitive minutes and earning 10 clean sheets in the 2015-2016 season.

Buffon received the Yashin Award after Italy lifted the 2006 World Cup. Moreover, under his captaincy, Italy went to the finals of 2012 European Championship along with 2003 and 2015 Champions league which gave him the 4th place in the UEFA Best Player in Europe Award list. He won major titles for Juventus such as Series A (seven times), Supercoppa Italiana Titles (five times) and Coppa Italia titles (two times). He was selected as the World’s Best Goalkeeper by IFFHS as many as four times which made him the topmost goalkeeper of the 21st century.

Gordon Banks

Gordon Banks
Full name Gordon Banks
Date of birth 30 December 1937
Place of birth Sheffield, West Riding of Yorkshire, England
Height 6’ 1”
National team England
Caps 73

About: Gordon Banks is hailed as one of the best soccer goalkeepers in the history of England football. He was selected the FWA footballer of the Year in the year 1972 and received the Goalkeeper of the Year award as many as six times in the FIFA World Cup tournaments.

After joining Chesterfield in 1953, he made his first professional debut in 1958 and helped the club reach the finals of FA cup four times. Chesterfield won the League cup in 1964 which placed him in the number 1 position of England’s most successful goalkeepers. Banks was also a part of the victorious England team in 1966 FIFA World Cup. He is also remembered for saving one of the goal shots of Pele in the 1970 World Cup which made him very popular among the global soccer fans. He won the 1972 League Cup for Stoke and is regarded as one of the greatest male goalkeepers of all-time by IFFHS.

Ricardo Zamora

Richardo Zamora was a very popular Spanish goalkeeper
Full name Ricardo Zamora Martínez
Date of birth 21 January 1901
Place of birth Barcelona, Spain
Height 6’ 1”
National team Spain
Caps 46

Gianluca Pagliuca

Gianluca Pagliuca

About: Richardo Zamora was a very popular Spanish goalkeeper who played at a time when Spain started concentrating on other sports for amusement rather than bullfighting. Zamora played for many renowned clubs, such as FC Barcelona, Real Madrid and RCD Espanyol, and represented his nation in major tournaments.

Known for his eccentric moves and dress styling, Zamora was the first Spanish player to appear on Spanish advertisements and movies. Moreover, his courageous act of playing with a broken sternum in the game against England, which helped Spain to be the first team to defeat England beyond the boundaries of British Isles, elevated him to an iconic stature.

Zamora made his senior career debut at the tender age of 16 with RCD Espanyol and won the Campionat de Catalunya trophy. He appeared in the World Soccer magazine as One of the Greatest Players of the 20th Century for his outstanding save at the last minute of the 1936 Copa del Presidente de la República final, which resulted in the victory for Real Madrid. He collected 46 caps for his country including the 1934 World Cup.

Peter Schmeichel

Peter Boleslaw Schmeichel Goalkeeping
Full name Peter Boleslaw Schmeichel
Date of birth 18 November 1963
Place of birth Gladsaxe, Denmark
Height 6’ 3”
National team Denmark
Caps 129

About: Remembered for his captivating physique and great reflexes, the Danish Goalkeeper Peter Schmeichel rose to the peak of his professional career with the English club Manchester United. Schmeichel was also the only player in Denmark with the highest number of caps or 129 caps.

Schmeichel received the golden opportunity of lifting 24 major trophies for different clubs such as Manchester City, Aston Villa, Brondby, Sporting CP, Hvidovre etc. Brondby rose to international prominence with Schmeichel between the posts and won four championships. His association with Manchester United brought the club three FA Cups, UEFA Champions League trophy and one League Cup along with five FA Premier League titles. With 22 clean sheets, Schmeichel snatched the premier league championship for Manchester United for the first time in the 1992-1993 season and became the World’s Best Footballer in 1993.

He represented his nation in both 1992 Euro Cup and 1998 FIFA World Cup along with three other European Championship games. England honored this spectacular goalkeeper by including him in the English Football Hall of Fame in the year 2003.

Dino Zoff

Dino Zoff Goalkeepers
Full name Dino Zoff
Date of birth 28 February 1942
Place of birth Mariano del Friuli, Italy
Height 5’ 11 1/2”
National team Italy
Caps 112

About: Hailed as one of the best male goalkeepers of all-time, Dino Zoff is the only player in Italy who won both the World Cup and the European Championship for his country. He served as the captain of the national team and was also included in the Team of the Tournament in the year 1968.

Apart from having admirable goal saving abilities, Zoff is remembered also for his great positioning within the goal sticks, calm reactions and superb handling of the ball. He played for many popular clubs like Udinese, Napoli, Mantova etc. but achieved greater success with Juventus and secured major trophies for the club such as Coppa Italia (two times), Series A (six times) and UEFA Cup (one time). With him, Juventus also reached the finals of the 1973 Intercontinental Cup and the European Cup of the 1972-73 and 1982-83 seasons. Zoff holds the international record of playing 1142 minutes unbeaten without conceding a single goal. He also served in the managerial position for Italian national team and Juventus and won Coppa Italia trophy and UEFA Cup in the 1989-90 season.

Lev Yashin

Lev Ivanovich Yashin
Full name Lev Ivanovich Yashin
Date of birth 22 October 1929
Place of birth Moscow, Soviet Union
Height 6’ 2 1/2”
National team Soviet Union
Caps 78

Ronnie Hellstrom

Ronnie Hellstrom

About: As per some soccer experts, Russian Goalkeeper Lev Yashin can be described as the greatest goalkeeper in the soccer history. Lev Yashin was highly athletic and possessed faster reflexes. But, the world remembers him as the first goalkeeper who directed his defenders and ran off the line to tackle attacks from the opponents instead of standing between the sticks. He thus changed the way everyone perceived the duty of a goalkeeper in the game.
Yashin received the opportunity to represent his country in the FIFA World Cups for four years consecutively. But, he rose to international prominence with his exceptional goalkeeping abilities in the 1958 World Cup. He is the first player to appear on global television channels and earn the nickname ‘Black Spider’ for his classic way of dressing in black. He was also part of the FIFA Dream Team along with eminent players like Paolo Maldini and Zinedine Zidane. With a world record of saving 150 penalties, he managed to secure as many as 270 clean sheets and was honored with the gold medal in the 1956 Olympic football game. The only goalkeeper to receive Ballon d’Or, Yashin continues to be counted as one of the legendary goalkeepers the world has ever witnessed.

Jurgen Croy

Jurgen Croy Goalkeeper
Full name Jürgen Croy
Date of birth 19 October 1946
Place of birth Zwickau, Germany
Height 6’ 1”
National team East Germany
Caps 86

About: East Germany remembers Jurgen Croy as one of the best male goalkeepers of all-time. Though internationally underrated, Croy is one of the few goalkeepers worldwide who managed to dominate the penalty area with great consistency and ball-handling capabilities.

After making the debut of his professional career with FSV Zwickau (then known as BSG Sachsenring Zwickau), he played for many renowned clubs like FC Magdeburg, Dynamo Dresden, FC Carl Zeiss Jena etc. He lifted the East German Cup two times for FSV Zwickau. He represented his national team for the first time in 1967 and became the starting goalkeeper of East Germany in 1974 World cup, which is also the only World Cup game that the nation played.

Croy secured a gold medal for his nation in the 1976 Olympic football game and retired with 86 caps. He was selected to be the GDR Footballer of the year three times and kept the record of 372 appearances in the first division matches of East Germany.

Rodolphe Hiden

Rodolphe Hiden
Full name Rodolphe Hiden
Date of birth 9 March 1909
Place of birth Vienna, Austria
Height 6’ 1/2”
National team Austria and France
Caps 20 for Austria, 1 for France

About: Rodolphe Hiden or Rudi is considered to be one of the top male goalkeepers of the world in the 1930s. He is also one of those few players who received the opportunity of representing two nations on international front- France and Austria.

Soccer experts consider him the most prosperous goalkeeper in the history of Austrian football for his robust physique and courageous moves on the field. He played many international tournaments for Austria but could not win any trophy. He held the record of having the maximum number of Austrian caps after outperforming Peter Platzer at that time. After moving to Paris in 1933, he played for RC Paris and secured the French Double Champion in the year 1936.

He also received French nationality in the same year for which he got a chance to represent France in a friendly match against Portugal in 1940. He also played for many Italian clubs such as Carrarese, Salernitana, Palermo, Messina etc.

Ivo Viktor

Ivo Viktor Goalkeeper
Full name Ivo Viktor
Date of birth 21 May 1942
Place of birth Krelov, Czechoslovakia
Height 5’ 9”
National team Czechoslovakia
Caps 63

About: Ivo Viktor is considered as one of the top male goalkeepers of Europe in the 1960s. He represented his nation Czechoslovakia as many as 63 times within the time period of 1966-77. He is remembered for his outstanding leadership skills, great penalty saves and strong physique with which he helped his nation fetch the European Championship against Germany in the year 1976.

He played for teams like Spartak Brno ZJS, Zelezarny Prostejov and RH Brno but his contribution to the success of the club Dukla Prague, for which he made 310 appearances in totality, earned him international fame. He also served as the captain of the club and lifted the Czechoslovak Cup three times. He was also selected to be the Czechoslovakia Player of the Year five times. He secured the third place in the voting for the Top Three Footballer of the Year with legendary players such as Lev Yashin.

Andreas Kopke

Andreas Köpke Football goalkeeper
Full name Andreas Köpke
Date of birth 12 March 1962
Place of birth Kiel, West Germany
Height 5’ 11 1/2”
National team Germany
Caps 59

About: Referred to as one of the most famous male footballers of all-time, Andreas Kopke was a part of the German national team in the 1990 and 1994 FIFA World Cup tournaments consecutively but did not get a chance to appear on the field.

He rose to international prominence when he helped Germany to lift the UEFA European Championship trophy by saving the penalty kick of Gareth Southgate of England. Kopke became the first-choice Goalkeeper of Germany in the 1996 FIFA World Cup but could not take the team ahead of the quarter finals. Having earned 59 caps for his country, he retired and, thus, gave the place to another outstanding German Goalkeeper Oliver Kahn.

He made debut in his club career with Holstein Kiel and played for numerous clubs like SC Charlottenburg, Eintracht Frankfurt, Marseille etc. But, he made the maximum number of appearances for 1. FC Nürnberg for which he won the Bundesliga title of the 2000-01 season. He was also a part of the Team of the Tournament of UEFA Euro 1996 and became the Best European Goalkeeper and World’s Best Goalkeeper by IFFHS in 1996.

Thomas Ravelli

Thomas Ravelli Footballer
Full name Thomas Ravelli
Date of birth 13 August 1959
Place of birth Vimmerby, Sweden
Height 6’ 1”
National team Sweden
Caps 143

About: Thomas Ravelli was one of the famous male goalkeepers of Sweden who held the record of being the most capper player in the nation with 143 caps for several years. Ravelli attracted attention of the international media when he saved two penalties in the 1994 World Cup for Sweden, including the one by Miodrag Belodedici of Romania during the “Sudden-death,” and pushed the team to the final. For such amazing goalkeeping skills, he secured the 2nd place in the race for being the Goalkeeper of the Year.

Apart from representing his nation in 1990 and 1994 World Cup as well as 1992 UEFA Euro Cup, Ravelli also played for Oster, for whom he won three Allsvenskan championships as well as the Swedish Cup. For his great contribution to Soccer game as a goalkeeper, he was given the 7th rank in the Best European Player list by the France Football association.

Jan Tomaszewski

jan tomaszewski goalkeeper
Full name Jan Tomaszewski
Date of birth 9 January 1948
Place of birth Wroclaw, Poland
Height 6’ 4”
National team Poland
Caps 63

About: Renowned as ‘Tomek’, Jan Tomaszewski made a prominent place in the history of Soccer game and Poland football by his spectacular goalkeeping performance with which he intimidated the English attackers consistently and made to the finals against West Germany. He also became the man of the match and gained popularity as “The Man Who Stopped England.”

Poland finished the tournament in the third place with Tomaszewski saving two penalties. He also appeared for the 1978 World Cup for Poland. He earned the silver medal in 1976 Summer Olympics and mainly played for the club LKS Lódz with 159 appearances. With 63 caps for his nation, he became Poland’s most-capped keeper and decided to move to other clubs of Belgium and Spain after he was 30 years old.

Apart from playing for clubs like Beerschot and Hercules, he retired in the year 1982. Tomaszewski served as a commentator and Sports journalist for some time and was selected to serve as a Sejm in the Polish parliament.

Jan Van Beveren

Jan van Beveren Football player
Full name Jan Van Beveren
Date of birth 5 March 1948
Place of birth Amsterdam, Netherlands
Height 6’ 2”
National team Netherlands
Caps 32

About: Jan van Beveren has been hailed as the greatest male goalkeeper of Netherlands of all-time by many soccer experts. He played with many bigger football clubs such as Sparta Rotterdam, Dallas Sidekicks and Fort Lauderdale Strikers but made most of the appearances for PSV Eindhoven. Beveren was skillful in keeping the ball with both hands, had great reflexes and proficiency in kicking the ball and remained mostly within the goalpost boundaries.

PSV went to the UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup semi-finals with Beveren but lost it to Real Madrid. He served as the captain of PSV in the 1974-75 season and secured Eredivisie and UEFA Cup in the 1977-78 season in which Beveren retained one clean sheet. With him, Fort Lauderdale Strikers qualified for the North American Soccer League Soccer Bowl in the year 1980.

Beveren made his debut in the Netherlands national team against Soviet Union which Netherlands won in a 3-1 victory. He developed a riff with Johan Cruyff which resulted in his early retirement in the year 1977 with 32 caps.

Fabien Barthez

Fabien Alain Barthez
Full name Fabien Alain Barthez
Date of birth 28 June 1971
Place of birth Lavelanet, France
Height 6’ 0”
National team France
Caps 87

About: Fabien Barthez is one of the best soccer goalkeepers in the world who holds the record of securing 10 clean sheets in World Cup finals along with Peter Shilton. In his extensive club career, he played for several bigger clubs such as Manchester United, Monaco and Marseille and represented his nation France in the Euro 2000 and 2004 Euro Cup along with 1998, 2002 and 2006 FIFA World Cups.

Barthez was the youngest keeper to win both French Champions League and 1993 French Championship and replaced Peter Schmeichel of Manchester United in the year 2000. Popular for his intimidating presence and excellent dribbles, Barthez won two FA Premier League for Madrid in the 2000-01 and 2002-03 seasons. He retained 3 clean sheets while snatching the victory from the last-time champion Brazil in the 1998 World Cup.

This outstanding goal-saver retired from his international career in the year 2007 with 86 caps after becoming the winner of several honors and awards including the FIFA World Cup Yashin award in 1998.

Giuliano Sarti

giuliano sarti goalkeeper
Full name Giuliano Sarti
Date of birth October 2, 1933
Place of birth Castello d’Argile, Italy
Height 5’ 10”
National team Italy
Caps 8

About: Giuliano Sarti is accounted as one of the best soccer goalkeepers of Italy during his professional tenure as a goalkeeper. Sarti was very famous for his leaving very little chance for the opponents of scoring a goal which fetched him several victories.

Enrico Albertosi

Enrico Albertosi

Sarti played primarily for two bigger clubs- Internazionale and Fiorentina. He lifted many major trophies for Fiorentina such as the European Cup Winners’ Cup title in the 1955-56 season, Coppa Italia trophy and the UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup in the 1960-61 season.

His iconic partnership with other eminent footballers like Armando Picchi, Giacinto Facchetti and Tarcisio Burgnich helped him build ‘The Chain’ defense which earned him several trophies for Internazionale such as the European Cup (two times), the Intercontinental Cup (two times) and Series A title (two times).

Sarti received the opportunity of representing Italy 8 times including his international debut in 1959 against Hungary. He later got associated with Juventus and retired in the year 1969.

Claudio Taffarel

Cláudio André Mergen Taffarel
Full name Cláudio André Mergen Taffarel
Date of birth 8 May 1966
Place of birth Santa Rosa, Brazil
Height 6’ 0”
National team Brazil
Caps 101

About: Cláudio Taffarel is remembered as one of the best male goalkeepers of Brazil who was a part of the victorious Brazil team that won the 1994 World Cup. Taffarel played for many popular clubs such as Reggiana, Galatasaray, Parma, Atlético Mineiro and Internacional with 80 appearances in Parma and 89 for Galatasaray.

He began his professional career with Internacional and played in 14 Series A games with the club for which he was awarded the Golden Ball in 1988. He won six crucial trophies for Galatasaray. In the UEFA Cup of 1999-2000 season, in which Galatasaray beat Arsenal, Taffarel saved several goal attempts of the opponents which fetched him the Man of the Match Award. Taffarel represented his country as the starting keeper in the 1994 FIFA World cup and appeared in five Copa America tournaments.

He also aided Brazil to reach the finals of 1998 FIFA World Cup by saving two penalty shots of Netherlands.

This outstanding keeper retired from his international career in 2003.

Alexei Khomich

Aleksei Petrovich Khomich
Full name Aleksei Petrovich Khomich
Date of birth 14 March 1920
Place of birth Soviet Russia
Height 5’ 6”
National team Soviet Union
Caps No Data

About: Alexei Khomich is arguably the greatest male goalkeeper of Russia during the 1940s. Khomich was very popular during his professional career as a goalkeeper for his energetic movements and very courageous acts. Russian Football also remembers him as the mentor of the legendary Lev Yashin at the time when Yashin started playing for the Russian club FC Dynamo Moscow.

Khomich mainly played for three major Russian clubs- FC Dinamo Minsk, FC Spartak Moscow and FC Dynamo Moscow. It was due to his unmatchable bravery that FC Dinamo went for a soccer tour in Britain in the year 1945 and closed a match with a 3-3 tie with Chelsea. Thus, Dynamo became the first Russian team to tour internationally in the history of Russian club football which earned Khomich the nickname “Tiger.” Khomich lifted two Soviet Championship Cups for Dyamo in 1945 and 1949 respectively and finished as a runner-up on several occasions while playing other tournaments.

He also took up sports photography for Soviet newspaper Sovetsky Sport and Futbol magazine after his retirement.

Karl Oskar Svensson

Karl Oskar Svensson
Full name Karl-Oskar Svensson
Date of birth 11 November 1925
Place of birth Västerlöv, Sweden
Height 5’ 8”
National team Sweden
Caps 73

About: Karl-Oskar Svensson was a very famous male goalkeeper who played for the elite level of Helsingborgs IF and represented his nation Sweden in 73 international tournaments including the 1950 and 1958 FIFA World Cup.

After making debut for the Helsingborgs IF, he started playing for Allsvenskan or the Swedish Professional league for men at that time. He appeared in 349 matches for Allsvenskan which is the third-highest in its history. He also holds the outstanding record for conceding 575 goals even though he never won any soccer trophy. He received eight medals in totality as Helsingborgs IF secured the 2nd place twice, the 3rd place thrice and the 4th place for four times. Svensson is the first footballer to receive the Guldbollen in 1952 which was given to the best Swedish footballer by the Swedish Footballer Association.

He appeared in the 1948 and 1952 Olympic games and managed to secure the Gold and Bronze medals respectively. There is a statue built in the honor of Svensson in Helsingborg.

Rustu Recber

Rüstü Reçber Footballer
Full name Rüstü Reçber
Date of birth 10 May 1973
Place of birth Antalya, Turkey
Height 6’ 1 1/2”
National team Turkey
Caps 120

About: Rustu Recber has been hailed the best male goalkeeper of Turkey of all time. He played for many bigger clubs such as Barcelona, Besiktas, Fenerbahçe, and Antalyaspor with 240 appearances for Fenerbahçe.

Recber is remembered for his excellent positional management between the sticks along with his heightened sense of saving shots by utilizing his height and good reflexes. He is much celebrated for his exhibition of outstanding penalty saving abilities in the semi-finals of 2008 UEFA European Championship.

He represented his nation in the 2000 and 2008 UEFA Euro Cup, 2003 FIFA Confederations Cup and 2002 FIFA World Cup, in which he was also selected into the Team of the Tournament. He won four Super Lig trophies and the Ataturk Cup in 1998 for Fenerbahçe. He also managed to lift the 2009 Super Lig trophy in 2009 and won the Türkiye Kupasi for Besiktas in 2009 and 2011.

He was selected as one of the 125 best living footballers in the world by Pele and made entry into the FIFA 100.

Thomas N’kono

Thomas ‘Tommy’ N’Kono
Full name Thomas ‘Tommy’ N’Kono
Date of birth 20 July 1956
Place of birth Dizangue, Cameroon
Height 6’ 1”
National team Cameroon
Caps 112

About: Arguably the best soccer goalkeeper of all-time in Africa, Thomas N’Kono is famous for his decade-long association with the club RCD Espanyol with more than 300 appearances.

During his professional tenure, he played for CE L’Hospitalet and CE Sabadell FC. He contributed greatly to the fame and popularity of the club Canon Yaoundé for which he won major trophies such as the Elite One (five times) and CAF Champions League (two times).

He represented his nation Cameroon for three FIFA World Cups as the starting keeper for the national team and reached the quarter-finals in the 1982 and 1990 World Cups which Cameroon lost to England. He also won the Africa Cup of nations for Cameroon in the year 1984 and finished as a runner-up in 1986.

N’Kono received the African Player of the Year award in 1979 and 1982 respectively. He kept playing till he was 40 years old and became the goalkeeping coach of Cameroon in the year 2009.

Bodo Illgner

Bodo Illgner was one of the top male goalkeepers of West Germany
Full name Bodo Illgner
Date of birth 7 April 1967
Place of birth Koblenz, West Germany
Height 6’ 3”
National team West Germany
Caps 54

About: Popular for being the first Goalkeeper to secure a clean sheet in any World Cup final, Bodo Illgner was one of the top male goalkeepers of West Germany during the 1990s. He played for eminent clubs, such as Koln and Real Madrid, and was part of the victorious national team of Germany in the 1994 World Cup.

Illgner became the first-choice goalkeeper with the club Bundesliga in the 1987-88 season. Referred to as the true and glorious successor of the famous Harald Schumacher, Illgner got associated with Real Madrid and earned the club the honor of winning the UEFA Champions League in the 1997-98 and 1999-2000 seasons, the Intercontinental Cup in 1998, Supercopa de Espana in 1997 along with the La Liga in the 1996-97 and 2000-01 seasons.

His exceptional performance in the 1994 World Cup, which was prominent in his saving the penalty shot of Stuart Pearce in the semi-final, helped Germany win the trophy by beating Argentina in the finals.

He was selected as the German Goalkeeper of the Year four times consecutively within the 1989-1992 period and received the honor of being the Best European Goalkeeper in 1991.

Uli Stein

Ulrich Stein goalkeeper
Full name Ulrich Stein
Date of birth 23 October 1954
Place of birth Hamburg, West Germany
Height 6’ 1”
National team West Germany
Caps 6

About: Hailed as one of the best soccer goalkeepers of the Eintracht Frankfurt of all time, Uli Stein was a German Footballer with as many as 512 appearances for the native club Bundesliga. He played for popular clubs like Arminia Bielefeld and Hamburger SV in which he earned honorary trophies such as German Budesliga titles in 1982 and 1983, and the UEFA Champions League in 1983.

Luis Arconada

Luis Arconada

Stein won the German DFB-Pokal Cup twice for different clubs- one in the year 1987 for Hamburger SV and another in 1988 for Eintracht Frankfurt. Stein also received the chance to represent his nation in six major tournaments, including the 1986 World Cup held in Mexico in which Germany lost the final battle to Argentina.

Despite his promising goal-saving abilities and great handling of the ball, Stein often got involved in controversial issues, such as calling the German coach a laughing stock which led to the dismissal of his international career, and punching the Bayern Munich player Jürgen Wegmann in 1987 which resulted in his suspension from Hamburger SV.

Stein served as a goalkeeping coach of Nigeria in the year 2007 and took the same role for the team Azerbaijan in the year 2008.

Joel Bats

joel bats french goalkeeper
Full name Joël Bats
Date of birth 4 January 1957
Place of birth Mont-de-Marsan, France
Height 5’ 10”
National team France
Caps 50

About: Joel Bats has been compared to some of the best football goalkeepers in the world like the amazing German keeper Harald Schumacher and glorious Grobbelaar of Liverpool due to his flamboyant attitude. Despite his battle with Testicular cancer, he became the first footballer to earn 50 caps for his country France.

After making his debut in the year 1974 with FC Sochaux-Montbéliard, he became the first-choice goalkeeper in AJ Auxerre. His decisive outlook and different way of tackling the ball earned him the golden chance of being the starting goalkeeper in 1984 European Championship and 1986 FIFA World Cup.

His exceptional save of the penalty shot of Brazilian midfielder Arthur Coimbra or Zico took his team to the World Cup semi-finals which the team eventually lost to West Germany. With his international retirement in 1989, he got associated with Paris Saint-Germain F.C and played successfully as the No. 1 keeper till his retirement in 1992.

After serving as the PSG coaching staff, he became a goalkeeping coach of Olympique Lyonnais in the year 2000.

Eike Immel

Eike Immel is a very popular goalkeeper in the history of German football
Full name Eike Immel
Date of birth 27 November 1960
Place of birth Stadtallendorf, West Germany
Height 6’ 1 1/2”
National team West Germany
Caps 19

About: Eike Immel is a very popular goalkeeper in the history of German football. He became the first-choice goalkeeper of Borussia Dortmund at the tender age of 17. In his 9 years of association with VfB Stuttgart, he became the runner-up for the UEFA Cup in 1989 and won the title of Bundesliga in the year 1992.

He represented his country West Germany for 8 consecutive years and earned 19 caps which included the 1988 UFA European Football Championship. His outstanding performance and team spirit helped West Germany to lift the 1980 UEFA European Championship. But, he retired from his international career at the age of 28 because of his growing competition with Bodo Illger, who became a more preferred choice to the national team selectors.

He made 577 appearances for the renowned clubs in his professional tenure with 287 for VfB Stuttgart, 247 for Borussia Dortmund and 43 for the Manchester City. Immel has the world record of conceding 829 goals in a total of 534 games as a Bundesliga goalkeeper.

David Seaman

David Andrew Seaman
Full name David Andrew Seaman
Date of birth 19 September 1963
Place of birth Rotherham, Yorkshire, England
Height 6’ 3”
National team England
Caps 75

About: The Soccer world remembers David Season as one of the finest and greatest goalkeeper of the club Arsenal. He played for many popular clubs like Birmingham City and Queens Park Rangers and reached the peak of success with Arsenal for which he won the 1993, 1998, 2002 and 2003 FA Cups, League Championships in 1991, 1998 and 2002 along with the 1994 European Cup and 1993 League Cup.

Apart from his exceptional club career, Seaman was also famous for his amazing performance in the 1996 UEFA Euro Cup for which he became a part of the Team of the Tournament. According to some soccer experts, his outstanding technique of saving the penalty shot of Paul Peschisolido in the FA cup of the 2002-03 season would always be one of the best.

Despite his international reputation and fame, due to which he remained in the limelight during the FA Cup and Premier League campaigns, he paved the way to Nayim to score a goal in the UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup final, and conceded the free-kick of Ronaldinho in the quarter-final of 2002 FIFA World Cup which resulted in the loss of England.

+He holds the record of being the second-most capped goalkeeper of England and stands next to Peter Shilton.

Jens Lehmann

Jens Gerhard Lehmann
Full name Jens Gerhard Lehmann
Date of birth 10 November 1969
Place of birth Essen, West Germany
Height 6’ 3”
National team Germany
Caps 61

About: A proud member of the ‘Arsenal’s Invincibles’, Jens Lehmann is undoubtedly one of the greatest male goalkeepers of all-time in the history of the club Arsenal. Lehmann also holds the record of standing unbeaten in consecutive 10 matches of UEFA Champions League which he played for Arsenal.

After his charismatic performance in the 1997 UEFA Cup final for FC Schalke, Lehmann got associated with Borussia Dortmand and won the Bundeliga title in the 2001-02 season. His inhibiting presence and outstanding style of tackling the ball earned him a place in Arsenal as a replacement of David Seaman and his contribution kept the team Arsenal unbeaten in the entire FA Premier League in the 2003-04 season. In his prosperous career with Arsenal, he lifted the FA Community Shield in 2004, FA Cup in the 2004-05 season and finished second in the UEFA Champions League in the 2005-06 season.

He could not win any major international trophy for his nation Germany but finished as the runner-up in the 2002 FIFA World Cup and UEFA European Football Championship. He also pushed Germany to the quarter-finals of 2005 FIFA Confederations Cup and 2006 FIFA World Cup.

Apart from securing 61 caps in his professional career, he became the UEFA Goalkeeper of the Year in the 2006 and was a part of the FIFA World Cup All-Star Team in 2006.

Tim Howard

Timothy Matthew Howard
Full name Timothy Matthew Howard
Date of birth March 6, 1979
Place of birth North Brunswick, New Jersey, United States
Height 6’ 3”
National team United States
Caps 109

About: Regarded as one of the best football goalkeepers of America of all-time, Tim Howard made his professional debut for the North Jersey Imperials and got associated with Manchester United in the year 2003 which proved to be the major turning point of his career as a goalkeeper.

With his spectacular abilities between the sticks, Howard secured FA Cup of the 2003-04 season, League Cup of the 2005-06 season along with FA Community shield in 2003 for the club. He made his first goal as a goalkeeper with the club Everton against Bolton Wanderers and secured the 4th rank as a goalkeeper to score a goal in any Premier League.

He has the highest number of caps or 108 caps for his country America till date. He played in the 2010 and 2014 FIFA World Cups as the starting goalkeeper and made an international record with the highest number of saves made in a single World Cup match with 15.

Howard has taken the decision of playing with MLS Colorado Rapids in 2016 and continue to represent his nation in crucial international tournaments.

Bruce Grobbelaar

Bruce David Grobbelaar
Full name Bruce David Grobbelaar
Date of birth 6 October 1957
Place of birth Durban, Union of South Africa
Height 6’ 1”
National team Zimbabwe
Caps 32

About: Bruce Grobbelaar is one of the most popular and arguably the best male footballer in the history of the club Liverpool. He continued to play for the club for 13 years within the time period of 1981-1994 and was known for his eccentric but spectacular handling of the ball between the sticks.

After playing for Vancouver Whitecaps, Grobbelaar joined Liverpool as a back-up for Ray Clemence. But, he came into the limelight suddenly in the same year which was unsettling both for the fans of Clemence and for the club.

With his unconventional actions as a keeper, such as biting the net in the manner of eating spaghetti and moving unsteadily during the penalty shootouts, made him immensely popular and Liverpool bagged major trophies such as Football League First Division (six times), League Cup (three times), FA Charity Shield (five times), FA Cup (three times) along with the 1984 European Cup and 1986 Super cup. He made 32 appearances for his national team including the qualifier match of 1982.

Despite the allegations of match-fixing in 1994, Grobbelaar continued to play and retired later in the same year.


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