Top 10 Best Goalkeepers of all Time: Just like wicketkeepers in cricket matches are vital, similarly, goalkeepers are vital players in soccer games. They are the ones who save goals coming from the opponent team. Goalkeepers in Football are underrated players for the more attractive positions in the squad while playing in possibly the most undervalued position in sports. It’s one of the most difficult positions while on the field, requiring attention, poise, and the ability to make saves at any time throughout a game, but do goalkeepers get enough credit?
Well not much as the other players passing and dribbling the ball. We often end up hearing names like Pele, Ronaldo, Messi, and others. But hardly have we got to hear about Gianluigi Buffon, Lev Yashin, Manuel Neuer and others. Bringing to your notice, we have listed down the names of the top 10 best goalkeepers of all time.
Top 10 Best Goalkeepers in the World of all Time
10) Bert Trautmann
Bert Trautmann had to contend with not just opposing strikers throughout his career, but also with continuous sledging from the stands. This is because of his serving for the German army during WWII. He moved to England after the war and began to play football. One of the reasons why he played for so long is due to his abilities that he was ultimately tolerated and even idolized by certain supporters, especially those of Manchester City.
Trautmann was awarded the title of FWA Footballer of the Year in 1956, and his performance in the 1956 FA Cup Final cemented his place in football history. Trautmann was seriously injured after diving at the feet of Peter Murphy of Birmingham City with 17 minutes remaining in the game. He continued to playmaking important stops to keep his team’s 3–1 advantage.
9) Gordon Banks
Gordon Banks is largely considered one of the top 10 best goalkeepers of all time from England. Born in Sheffield, Banks died in 2019 at the age of 81, but his savings against the Brazilian team in the 1970 World Cup is still inspiring. Banks’ stunning reaction saves against Pele’s strong and straight header was dubbed ‘the save of the century‘ by fans and experts all around the world.
8) Pat Jennings
In his 22-years of career, Pat Jennings played almost 1,000 games and is Northern Ireland’s most respected player having 119 appearances, making him one of the few players to have earned the respect of both Arsenal and Tottenham supporters.
Jennings also won the FA Cup twice, the League Cup twice, and the UEFA Cup once while playing for the Tottenham team. In 1973, he was voted FWA Footballer of the Year, and in 1976, he was crowned PFA Players’ of the Year.
7) Gianluigi Buffon
Gianluigi Buffon was transferred to Juventus after excelling at Parma, presenting his extraordinary commitment by remaining with the club after they were condemned to Series B. He has won the UEFA Cup, the Italian Cup, and two Series A crowns throughout his club career. His biggest accomplishments, though, have been at the international level, where he has 176 caps and has won a World Cup.
He is the only goalkeeper from Italy having called for 5 FIFA World Cup matches. Buffon is a proud winner of the Yashin Award, along with the Team of the Tournament from UEFA. In 2017, Buffon announced his retirement from international football.
6) Peter Shilton
With 125 caps, Peter Shilton is the only English football goalkeeper who played more games for England’s men’s team than any other player. One of the popular reasons to include him in this list is for his contribution to the 1986 FIFA World Cup for saving goals. He also won some honors like Two European Cups, a UEFA Super Cup, and the Football League Cup.
Shilton enjoyed a 31-year career, appearing in 1005 league games and 1237 total games, the most of any player. He retired at the age of 47. Despite competition from the likes of Banks and Ray Clemence during his career, he played a record 125 times for England.
5) Oliver Kahn
Oliver Kahn is one of the most celebrated footballers from Germany, and earned medals and fame wherever he went. Kahn is the winner of eight Bundesliga championships, six German Cups, six League Cups, and others.
With the national team, the winning streak continued. Along with earning 86 caps, he was a member of the Euro ’96 winning team. He has won the German Footballer of the Year award twice, the IFFHS Best Goalkeeper award thrice, and seven times the Best Bundesliga Goalkeeper award. All these achievements make him on the list of the top 10 best goalkeepers of all time.
4) Dino Zoff
This Italian goalkeeper was also the captain of the Italian football team during the 1982 tournament. Due to his agility and saving techniques, Dino Zoff was named the third best goalkeeper during the 20th century. In one of the international events, he once lasted 1142 minutes without stopping, a record that he still holds and wasn’t broken yet. He owns 112 Italy caps rank and includes victories in the 1968 European Championships and the 1982 World Cup. He won six Series A championships, two Italian Cups, and one UEFA Cup with his team.
In a vote conducted by IFFHS, Zoff was ranked the third best goalkeeper of the twentieth century, and in 2003, he was elected the finest Italian player of the previous 50 years.
3) Sepp Maier
Yet another star German goalkeeper and top 10 best goalkeepers of all time, Sepp Maier is well-known among Franz Beckenbauer and is the key player for Germany and Bayern Munich. He is the winner of four times Bundesliga, the German Cup three times, the Cup Winners’ Cup once, and three European Cups in a row. His 95 caps also include the European Championships winner’s medal in 1972 and a medal for World Cup winner in 1974.
He was also the three-time winner of the West German Footballer of the Year award. One of the reasons why he is the best is because of the consistency he kept throughout the era. He played 422 consecutive matches between 1966 and 1977. In an interview, he said that the keeper should be calm and shouldn’t fall asleep.
2) Lev Yashin
“Black Spider“, the nickname given to Lev Yashin was known for his loud voice on the field, and for his flexibility throughout the game. Being a flexible player, in the international games, he saved 150 penalties, also he is the winner of Ballon d’Or in the year 1963. He was the only goalkeeper during that era to win the award. Yashin took retirement from football during 1970
1) Peter Schmeichel
Manchester United’s success in the 1990s was largely due to Peter Schmeichel‘s strategic savings in goal. Prior to that, Peter earned a good name in Brondby, where he helped them win four league titles along with the Danish Cup.
During the 1992 European Championships, he earned a positive name for his achievements, which helped Denmark to win the game. Schmeichel was successful in winning five Premier League crowns, three FA Cups, and a trophy of the Champions League. At the FIFA 100 celebrations in March 2004, he was voted one of the “125 best living players.” This is the reason why he’s one of the top 10 best goalkeepers of all time.