The highest 30 goalkeepers within the historical past of the World Cup

The top 30 goalkeepers in the history of the World Cup

Strikers will at all times declare the plaudits – that’s a reality of nature. However whereas placing the ball into the online is broadly thought of essentially the most troublesome factor to do on a soccer pitch, preserving it out is simply as vital. 

The inspiration of any trophy-winning aspect begins with the odd man out, the person sporting a unique strip and clunky gloves, the person standing between the sticks getting balls pelted at him for an hour and a half. 

Holders of one of the important positions on the pitch and pivotal to their respective nations’ successes, this is a take a look at the 30 greatest goalkeepers in World Cup historical past.

Enrique Ballestrero

Ballestrero lets a objective in / Keystone/GettyImages

We begin with the first-ever World Cup-winning goalkeeper. 

Enrique Ballestrero solely performed 19 instances for Uruguay, incomes his second cap with a clear sheet towards Peru within the nation’s first-ever World Cup sport. The goalkeeper went on to play all 4 of their matches all through the competitors because the host nation received the inaugural World Cup.

Luis Monti, Gianpiero Combi, Luis Monti, Attilio Ferraris, Luigi Allemandi, Enrique Guaita, Giovanni Ferrari, Angelo Schiavio, Giuseppe Meazza, Eraldo Monzeglio, Luigi Bertolini, Raimundo Orsi

Combi with the Italy nationwide crew / Keystone/GettyImages

4 years later, Italian goalkeeper Gianpiero Combi lifted the Jules Rimet trophy having nearly retired months earlier than the 1934 World Cup kicked off. 

The then 31-year-old Italian nice had been overtaken in I Azzurri’s pecking order by younger Inter goalkeeper Carlo Ceresoli, who tragically broke his arm saving a shot previous to the match. In stepped Combi as soon as once more, to ship a goalkeeping masterclass as he captained Italy to their first World Cup title.


Italy made fascist salutes all through their profitable 1938 match / STAFF/GettyImages

The Italians would go on to earn a second successive World Cup triumph in 1938, helped between the sticks by Aldo Olivieri.

The goalkeeper featured in each minute of his nation’s triumphant marketing campaign, as I Azzurri noticed off Norway, France, Brazil and fellow finalists Hungary to realize success.

Hungarian forward Sandor Kocsis (L) cele

Maspoli is overwhelmed by Hungary’s Sandor Kocsis / STAFF/GettyImages

The Second World Conflict resulted within the absence of the World Cup for a 12-year interval. When it returned in 1950, it was as soon as once more the Uruguayans that ran out victors.

Roque Maspoli donned the gloves for 3 of his nation’s 4 matches all through the match – incomes a clear sheet in an 8-0 thumping of Bolivia – and performed his half in the course of the 2-1 win over Brazil within the remaining, which stays essentially the most attended soccer match in historical past.

Antonio Carbajal

Carbajal will get warmed up / Douglas Miller/GettyImages

Antonio Carbajal just isn’t a World Cup winner, however he’s definitely a World Cup legend. 

Alongside Lothar Matthaus and Rafael Marquez (not horrible firm, is it?), the Mexican goalkeeper is the one participant to have featured in a whopping 5 World Cup tournaments. Carbajal featured for his nation in each version of the competitors from 1950 and 1966, captaining the aspect in 1958 and 1962.

Turek claims a ball against Yugoslavia in 1954

Turek claims a ball towards Yugoslavia in 1954 / ullstein bild Dtl. / Contributor

1 / 4 of Toni Turek’s caps for West Germany got here in his sole World Cup participation, in 1954.

He performed in all however considered one of his nation’s six fixtures all through the match (the one he didn’t play in, they misplaced 8-3) and was pivotal in West Germany’s victorious run to the ultimate, the place they avenged that aforementioned hammering by beating Hungary to win the World Cup for the primary time.

Harry Gregg

A terrific motion shot of Gregg leaping by way of the air / Keystone/GettyImages

The late, nice Harry Gregg’s worldwide profession is perhaps overshadowed by that of Pat Jennings, however the former goalkeeping star hit heights that few Northern Irishmen have ever managed. 

The previous Manchester United shot-stopper was an important part in his nation’s qualification to the 1958 World Cup and was subsequently voted the match’s greatest goalkeeper, proving pivotal in his nation’s best-ever main match end because the squad reached the quarter-final stage.

French forward Just Fontaine tries to dr

Gilmar tries to disclaim France’s Simply Fontaine / STAFF/GettyImages

The nice Gilmar earned 93 caps over his worldwide profession and featured at three World Cups. 

He got here out victorious in two of these campaigns, enjoying each minute of Brazil’s matches within the 1958 and 1962 editions and preserving six clear sheets within the course of as he picked up two winner’s medals.

Gordon Banks

Banks pulled out all of the stops / STAFF/GettyImages

“What a save, Gordon Banks!”

One of many best goalkeepers to have ever lived, Banks will endlessly be remembered for what’s broadly considered the best save of all time to disclaim Pele one other World Cup objective in 1970. 

The England icon, nonetheless, could have most likely remembered the occasions of 1966 somewhat higher as he was a part of the one Three Lions squad to have ever earned the title of world champions, preserving 4 clear sheets as he performed each minute of that triumphant match.

Lev Yashin

Yashin in motion / Keystone/GettyImages

The one goalkeeper to have received a Ballon d’Or, Lev Yashin is undoubtedly one of many best footballers to have by no means lifted the World Cup. 

Taking part in his worldwide soccer in a less-than-spectacular Soviet Union aspect, Yashin did make it to the quarter-final levels of the 1958 and 1962 World Cups earlier than reaching the competitors’s remaining 4 in 1966, however might by no means go all the way in which. 

Even so, his gravitas within the sport and the respect he earned resulted within the World Cup’s Golden Glove award being named the Lev Yashin Award between the years of 1994 and 2006.

Felix was the goalkeeper for one of the great Brazil teams

Felix was the goalkeeper for one of many nice Brazil groups / Popperfoto / Contributor

Brazil received their third World Cup title in 4 editions of the competitors in 1970, and goalkeeper Felix was current for each second of his nation’s barnstorming marketing campaign. 

The Brazilians maintained a 100% document proper the way in which by way of, overcoming the likes of then-holders England and Uruguay earlier than seeing off Italy within the remaining, as Felix grew to become the second first-choice Brazilian goalkeeper to elevate the Jules Rimet trophy.

"Please don't use this photo, guys."

“Please do not use this picture, guys.” / Common / Contributor

Legendary Bayern Munich and West Germany goalkeeper Sepp Maier performed a formidable 18 instances in World Cup tournaments and have become a world champion together with his nation in 1974.

The one-time German Footballer of the Yr recipient was essential to his nation’s triumphant marketing campaign in 1974, preserving 4 clear sheets earlier than serving to the Germans overcome a Johan Cruyff-inspired Netherlands aspect within the remaining.

Fillol played club football for Atletico Madrid

Fillol performed membership soccer for Atletico Madrid / Icon Sport / Contributor

The Netherlands have been as soon as once more heartbroken runners-up 4 years later, as Argentina received their maiden World Cup on the expense of the lads in orange. 

Goalkeeper Ubaldo Fillol was pivotal in that success, crucially preserving three clear sheets within the match’s second group stage to push previous Brazil and attain the ultimate, the place they acquired the higher of Die Oranje.

Zoff later managed Italy

Zoff later managed Italy / Alessandro Sabattini / Contributor

Iconic primary Dino Zoff seems in most lists whose titles include the phrases ‘prime’ and ‘goalkeepers’ – this one isn’t any totally different.

The good Italian performed 112 instances for his nation and featured at three World Cups, lastly with the ability to name himself a world champion in 1982 after two disappointing campaigns in 1974 and 1978 respectively. 

He received soccer’s prime prize in Spain as his nation’s skipper, as effectively; within the course of, he grew to become the oldest participant and captain in a World Cup remaining on the age of 40 years and 133 days.

Pumpido's prayers against England were repaid with a hand of god

Pumpido’s prayers towards England have been repaid with a hand of god / Onze / Contributor

Having spent the whole lot of the 1982 World Cup on the substitutes’ bench, Nery Pumpido arrived at Mexico ‘86 as Argentina’s first-choice goalkeeper. 

He demonstrated why, preserving three clear sheets for his nation on the way in which to the showpiece remaining, the place a Diego Maradona-led Argentina beat West Germany 3-2.


Zenga will get within the thick of the motion / STAFF/GettyImages

Italia ‘90 will endlessly be prime World Cup territory – the equal of prime Barclays years – and, amongst all of the sensational aesthetics and feverish ardour across the match, there was some standout goalkeeping. 

Walter Zenga, in entrance of his house followers, was one of many glove-wearing masterclass-givers all through the match, placing in a severe shift between the sticks. 

The Italian goalkeeper went 517 minutes with out letting a objective into his web for the hosts, earlier than Argentina’s semi-final equaliser introduced an finish to his spell of fresh sheets – his document nonetheless stands in World Cup soccer.

Goycochea back in 1990

Goycochea again in 1990 / Alessandro Sabattini / Contributor

One other superb goalkeeping efficiency from the 1990 World Cup got here from Argentina’s shot-stopper Sergio Goycochea.

Goycochea’s titanic story is an unlikely one; the then 26-year-old was backup at each membership and worldwide ranges to a earlier inductee on this listing, Pumpido. Argentina’s earlier World Cup-winning goalkeeper, nonetheless, broke his leg in his nation’s second group-stage match towards the USSR, paving the way in which for Goycochea to come back into the highlight – and boy, did he.

The backup keeper was ultimately voted Italia ‘90’s goalkeeper of the match and was named within the All-Star Group, for a run that included three clear sheets and penalty shootout heroics earlier than a World Cup remaining defeat. 

Real Madrid v Barcelona Bodo Illgner of Real Madrid

Illgner enjoying for Actual Madrid / Clive Mason/GettyImages

That loss was by the hands of West Germany, who would choose up their third World Cup title at Italia ‘90. 

Bodo Illgner was key to that triumph, proving an impenetrable adversary to most who got here up towards him. It was his antics that made him England’s public enemy primary within the Three Lions’ semi-final shootout heartbreak earlier than he saved a clear sheet within the remaining as West Germany acquired their revenge on Argentina for his or her World Cup remaining defeat 4 years prior. 

Brazil goalkeeper Claudio Taffarel

Taffarel performed over 100 instances for Brazil / Shaun Botterill/GettyImages

102-time capped Brazilian goalkeeper Claudio Taffarel skilled World Cup heartbreak in 1990, with a spherical of 16 dumping, and once more in 1998, shedding out to France within the remaining.

Between these tournaments, nonetheless, got here his glory second on the worldwide stage, as he helped his nation to their fourth World Cup title, preserving 5 clear sheets all through the match within the USA and popping out on prime in a penalty shootout remaining. 

Michel Preud''homme of Belgium

Michel Preud”homme is a Belgium legend / Ben Radford/GettyImages

The 1994 World Cup goalkeeping accolades didn’t belong to Claudio Tafarel, nonetheless.

Voted into the match’s All-Star Group and receiving the Lev Yashin Award was, in truth, iconic Belgian shot-stopper Michel Preud’homme, for his beautiful goalkeeping performances as he helped his nation to the knockout levels of the match. 

Fabien Barthez

Barthez making his emotions recognized / Simon M Bruty/GettyImages

With a kissable bald head and awe-inspiring athleticism and intelligence that rendered his diminutive goalkeeping stature irrelevant, Fabien Barthez is undeniably considered one of France’s greatest-ever goalkeepers.

In his first main match as his nation’s first-choice goalkeeper, Barthez saved 5 clear sheets to assist Les Bleus keep a 100% document on house soil in 1998, culminating in a surprising 3-0 victory over Brazil within the remaining to earn France’s first World Cup title. 


Marcos makes use of thoughts management to drive a ball away from objective / PHILIPPE HUGUEN/GettyImages

Once you consider nice Twenty first-century Brazilian goalkeepers, you’d predominantly image Dida; however the fourth and most up-to-date starring goalkeeper to win a World Cup with Brazil is Marcos, the nation’s first-choice in South Korea and Japan 20 years in the past.

Solely capped 27 instances by his nation, Marcos performed each minute of Brazil’s fifth triumphant World Cup marketing campaign, preserving 4 clear sheets – together with one in a 2-0 victory over Germany within the remaining. 

Oliver Kahn

You would not ever mess with massive Ollie Kahn / Simon M Bruty/GettyImages

As soon as once more, nonetheless, regardless of a superb efficiency, it wasn’t the victorious goalkeeper that walked away with the match’s award for greatest goalkeeper; in 2002, it went to runner-up Oliver Kahn – to be truthful, you attempt telling him the unhealthy information.

The legendarily terrifying guardian was, in all seriousness, terrific in the course of the 2002 World Cup, showcasing the most effective of his world-class talents as he skippered Germany to the ultimate with 5 clear sheets.

Gianluigi Buffon

Buffon led Italy to glory in 2006 / Alessandro Sabattini/GettyImages

This listing simply wouldn’t be appropriate with out Gianluigi Buffon in it. Some of the admired goalkeepers of all time, the large Italian has loved a wonderful profession each at membership and worldwide ranges. 

Having racked up an incomprehensible 176 caps for Italy, Buffon has featured at 4 of the 5 World Cups he has been chosen for, skippering the aspect in Brazil in 2014.

However the spotlight of his worldwide success, after all, got here in 2006 when he starred for Italy’s fourth World Cup-winning aspect. The goalkeeper performed all of his nation’s video games throughout that marketing campaign, preserving 5 clear sheets and holding his nerve as he helped Italy overcome France in a penalty shootout within the remaining. 

Iker Casillas, Arjen Robben

Casillas produces an enormous save to disclaim Arjen Robben within the 2010 remaining / Jasper Juinen/GettyImages

Simply up there as one of many all-time greatest shot-stoppers soccer has ever seen, Spanish legend Iker Casillas captained Spain by way of its golden period.

In between the nation’s two European Championship triumphs got here its 2010 World Cup success. Regardless of a 1-0 defeat to Switzerland within the opening fixture, the Spaniards went on to say their first World Cup title as Casillas saved 5 clear sheets within the remaining six video games.

Tim Howard

Howard produced an all-time goalkeeping efficiency in 2014 towards Belgium / Robert Cianflone/GettyImages

Tim Howard might not essentially be among the best goalkeepers to have ever featured on soccer’s best stage, however you could possibly argue that he’s produced the most effective goalkeeping efficiency that that stage has ever seen.

There have been many splendid saves over the icon-filled historical past of the World Cup, however Howard delivered a memorable show during which he made a competition-record 15 saves towards Belgium in 2014.

The Purple Devils ultimately inflicted a spherical of 16 dumping on the USA courtesy of a 2-1 extra-time win, however Howard’s history-making, 15-save efficiency in that match etched his title down in World Cup folklore – and ensured Belgium didn’t attain double figures, after all.

Manuel Neuer

There aren’t many goalies higher than Neuer / Matthias Hangst/GettyImages

A jaw-droppingly revolutionary and thrilling goalkeeper to look at, few have come near Manuel Neuer over the previous decade. He’s massively embellished at membership stage with Bayern Munich and might boast a World Cup winner’s medal as well. 

The German has been a pivotal determine for Die Mannschaft since his debut in 2009, however his crowning second got here in the summertime of 2014 when he performed each second of his nation’s World Cup-winning marketing campaign, preserving 4 clear sheets within the course of.

Guillermo Ochoa, Klaas Jan Huntelaar

Studs up, no concern; that is Ochoa / Soccrates Photos/GettyImages

Whereas Guillermo Ochoa has by no means come near reaching glory on the World Cup, he can safely declare to have captured the creativeness.

An excellent goalkeeper, his luscious locks, cat-like velocity and agility, and hyperactive fashion of goalkeeping have made him a cult determine on the world stage. With memorable shows all through the 2014 World Cup particularly, Ochoa will likely be fondly remembered within the years to come back.

Thibaut Courtois

Courtois has loved a surprise 2022 / BSR Company/GettyImages

One of many leaders of Belgium’s golden technology, Thibaut Courtois has been one of many world’s greatest goalkeepers for what seems like an eternity.

Whereas he hasn’t loved any collective success on the worldwide stage, he can look again at his particular person efficiency on the 2018 World Cup with delight. Though Belgium have been knocked out on the semi-final stage by the hands of eventual champions France, Courtois was handed the Golden Glove Award for his phenomenal marketing campaign and was named within the All-Star Group. 


Lloris captained France to the title in 2018 / LIONEL BONAVENTURE/GettyImages

We conclude with the newest World Cup-winning goalkeeper – one of many stars of France’s second triumph, Hugo Lloris. 

Opposite to what number of understand him, the quick-footed and agile Lloris has been an ever-dependable and durable presence for Les Bleus all through his worldwide profession. He has captained the nationwide aspect extra instances than another participant in France’s historical past and did so at Russia 2018, the place he saved three clear sheets on the way in which to World Cup glory.

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