Sunday, 21 Jul 2024

The 9 Best Goalkeepers Of All Time

Goalkeeper is a unique position in football, requiring a set of skills and qualities that differ from those of midfielders and attackers. In fact, it’s often said that goalkeepers need to be slightly eccentric to excel in this role. However, this distinctiveness also gives them a higher level of recognition and status compared to outfield players. In this article, we will explore some of the greatest goalkeepers of all time, discussing their achievements and contributions to the game.

What Is A Goalkeeper In Soccer?

In soccer, the goalkeeper is the last line of defense and the foundation of the team. They are responsible for guarding the goal and preventing the opposition from scoring. The goalkeeper is the only player allowed to touch the ball with their hands, but only within their own penalty area. This rule gives them a unique position and importance on the pitch. In addition to their ball-handling skills, goalkeepers need to possess several key abilities to excel in their role.

What Are The Key Skills Of A Goalkeeper In Soccer?

Each goalkeeper brings their own set of talents and advantages to the game. However, there are a few essential skills that all top goalkeepers have in common.

Shot Stopping

The ability to make a variety of saves is fundamental to a goalkeeper’s success. This includes close-range blocks, reflex saves from set pieces, safe catches from long-distance shots, and acrobatic dives to tip shots around the post or over the bar. David De Gea, Emiliano Martinez, and Nick Pope are some of the top shot-stoppers in the modern game.


Confidence plays a vital role in a goalkeeper’s performance, and catching is one aspect that demonstrates their composure and capability to deal with danger. Being able to confidently catch crosses, shots, and lofted passes in different positions on the field is highly valued by defenders and contributes to the team’s defensive stability.

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Ball Control Skills

In the modern game, goalkeepers are not just expected to be shot-stoppers but also to contribute to the team’s possession and build-up play. They are often involved in receiving the ball from defenders and initiating attacks. Therefore, having excellent ball control skills and the ability to play under pressure is crucial for goalkeepers.


Goalkeepers need to be able to distribute the ball effectively using both their hands and their feet. They should be able to make accurate short-to-medium-distance passes while under pressure from opposition attackers. Additionally, they need to have a wide kicking range and the ability to launch long balls to initiate counter-attacks or relieve defensive pressure.

Organization Skills

Top goalkeepers are natural leaders and play a crucial role in organizing the team’s defense. They constantly communicate with their teammates, ensuring that the backline is well-positioned and marking opponents effectively. Their presence and commands in the penalty area can intimidate opposition players and provide a sense of security to the defense.

Who Is The Best Goalkeeper Of All Time? 9 Of The Best

Several goalkeepers have a claim to be the best of all time. Let’s take a look at some of the main contenders and their notable achievements.

Peter Schmeichel

Peter Schmeichel is widely regarded as the greatest goalkeeper in Manchester United’s history. During his time at the club in the 1990s, he won five Premier League titles, one Champions League, and three FA Cups. He also led Denmark to victory in the 1992 European Championship, an impressive achievement for an underdog team.

Manuel Neuer

Manuel Neuer revolutionized the goalkeeping position with his sweeping style of play. He played a vital role in popularizing the art of running far off the goal line to clear up danger. Neuer has had a decorated career with Bayern Munich and the German national team, winning numerous league titles, Champions Leagues, and even the 2014 World Cup.

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Iker Casillas

Iker Casillas is a Spanish legend and was a key figure for Real Madrid during their era of galacticos. He is known for his athleticism, reflex saves, leadership skills, and strong presence in the penalty box. Casillas captained the Spanish national team to two European Championship wins and a World Cup victory.

Gianluigi Buffon

Gianluigi Buffon is widely regarded as one of the most decorated players of the 21st century. He had an enduring career with Juventus, Parma, PSG, and the Italian national team. Buffon’s physical attributes, leadership skills, and penalty-saving ability contributed to his success, which includes winning the 2006 World Cup, multiple Serie A titles, and numerous individual awards.

Gordon Banks

Gordon Banks is the only goalkeeper to have lifted the World Cup trophy with England. He was known for his cat-like reflexes, shot-stopping ability, and positional intelligence. Banks is considered one of England’s greatest-ever goalkeepers.

Dino Zoff

Dino Zoff is an Italian icon and one of the greatest goalkeepers of all time. He led Italy to victory in the 1982 World Cup and had a successful career with clubs like Juventus and Napoli. Zoff was known for being an efficient and composed goalkeeper, leading his defense confidently.


Ederson is known for his technical abilities and his role in Manchester City’s possession-based style of play. His ball skills and distribution are exceptional, making him one of the best all-round goalkeepers of the 21st century.

Alisson Becker

Alisson Becker has been instrumental in Liverpool’s recent success under Jurgen Klopp. He possesses excellent ball control and distribution skills, strong shot-stopping abilities, and great positional and tactical intelligence.

Lev Yashin

Lev Yashin is a legendary Russian goalkeeper who holds the unique distinction of being the only goalkeeper to have won the Ballon d’Or. He was known for his exceptional shot-stopping ability and positional play. Yashin’s success included winning the European Championship and multiple league titles.

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If you want to learn more about the impact these goalkeepers had on the world of football, check out our guide to The Yashin Trophy, a top soccer prize dedicated to Lev Yashin. Additionally, if you’re interested in a more comprehensive understanding of the goalkeeper’s role in soccer, read our article on the topic.

For more informative articles and engaging content, visit Movin993 and stay updated with the world of football.


Q: Who is the best goalkeeper of all time?

A: The title of the best goalkeeper of all time is subjective, but some notable contenders include Peter Schmeichel, Manuel Neuer, Iker Casillas, Gianluigi Buffon, Lev Yashin, and more.

Q: What are the key skills of a goalkeeper in soccer?

A: Key skills of a goalkeeper include shot stopping, catching, ball control, distribution, and organization skills.

Q: Can goalkeepers use their hands anywhere on the field?

A: No, goalkeepers can only use their hands inside their own penalty area.

Q: Why are goalkeepers considered eccentric?

A: The goalkeeper position requires a unique set of skills and mindset, often involving moments of intense pressure and unconventional decision-making, which can be perceived as eccentricity.


In this article, we explored the role of goalkeepers in soccer and discussed the essential skills they need to excel in their position. We highlighted the achievements and contributions of some of the best goalkeepers of all time, including Peter Schmeichel, Manuel Neuer, Iker Casillas, Gianluigi Buffon, Gordon Banks, Dino Zoff, Ederson, Alisson Becker, and Lev Yashin. Each of these goalkeepers has made a significant impact on the game and left a lasting legacy in their respective careers. To learn more about football and stay updated with the latest news and insights, visit Movin993.