Best goalkeeper ever in football

Brilliant reflexes and a calm demeanor required, Who are the heroes between goalposts?

10. Hugo Lloris (Olympique Lyon, Tottenham Hotspurs)

Very steady and consistent goalie. Best French goalkeeper of the 21st century

Achievements: Coupe de France, French goalkeeper of the year thrice
Strengths: Reach, always calm demeanor
Weaknesses: Not a leader

  • Reflex score: 90%
  • Mentality score: 80%


Additional reading: Best defender ever in football


9. Fabien Barthez (Olympique Marseille, AS Monaco, Manchester United)

French defender Laurent Blanc kissing his goalkeeper`s bald head was France`s lucky charm on their way to world cup victory 1998 on home soil. But that wasn`t all Barthez contributed. He was a very strong keeper with a touch of crazy and occasional blackouts.

Achievements: World Cup champion 1998 and European champion 2000 with France national squad. Several Premier League and League 1 championships as well as UEFA Champions League winner
Strengths: Spectacular saves
Weaknesses: Occasional blackouts


  • Reflex score: 80%
  • Mentality score: 85%



8. Santiago Canizares (Real Madrid, Valencia CF)

Always in the shadows of Iker Casillas, but in fact one of the best keepers ever. Had brillant performances with Valencia in the Champions League and unfortunately missed world cup 2002 due to an accident with a perfume bottle. Nonetheless a huge piece of the puzzle during Valencia`s most successful period of their history.

Achievements: Two national championships with Valencia, two time UEFA Champions League runner-up
Strengths: Very good in all departments of goalkeeping
Weaknesses: But not outstanding in any department


  • Reflex score: 85%
  • Mentality score: 75%



7. Peter Schmeichel (Brondby Kopenhagen, Manchester United)

The huge, broad-shouldered Dane is Manchester United`s best goalkeeper ever and a legend over there. Scored 11 goals during his career. Known for railing against his defenders after goals against him.

Achievements: Champions League winner 1999, Five-time Premier League champion, UEFA European champion 1992
Strengths: Physicality, penalty box domination
Weaknesses: Reflexes not that extraordinary


  • Reflex score: 85%
  • Mentality score: 100%


Additional reading: Best full-back ever in football


6. Edwin van der Saar (Ajax Amsterdam, Manchester United)

One of the first goalies with a modern approach to goalkeeping, building the last line of defence and organizing it.

Achievements: Four-time League champion in the Netherlands as well as in British Premier League. Champions League winner twice, one each with Amsterdam and Manchester United.
Strengths: Very good football skills,
Weaknesses: Sometimes not enough mental focus


  • Reflex score: 90%
  • Mentality score: 85%



5. Manuel Neuer (FC Schalke 04, Bayern Munich)

I was never really going along with Bayern Munich`s management claiming Neuer as best goalkeeper in the world. He was always strong on the line and his ball control is better than most of his colleagues. But for me he had way too many blackouts that led to goals against his tema, especially when leaving his goal. But the last world cup in Brazil changed my opinion a little. No blackout the whole tornament, almost played the sweeper to help the shaky German defense and had some spectacular saves in important situations. The first time I ever noticed the aura of invincibility around him. So right now I would say, he is in fact the best, but there are still a few that impressed me more…

Achievements: World cup victory 2014, Champions League victory 2013
Strengths: Reach, Good football skills
Weaknesses: Regular trips outside the penalty box sometimes go horribly wrong


  • Reflex score: 95%
  • Mentality score: 95%



4. Iker Casillas (Real Madrid, FC Porto)

The Spanish captain of the legendary squad that won two European championships and a world cup title in a row is called “San Iker” by Real Madrid`s fans. That shows his status as iconic goalkeeper of the world`s biggest football club. Casillas showed a very high level of goalkeeping throughout many many years now,  he reached his team`s staring squad in 1999. The only goalkeeper ever that managed to win the world`s best goalkeeper award for five consecutive years!

Achievements: Real Madrid legend, awarded as “world`s best goalkeeper” for a record five consecutive years, World cup and European champion back to back to back from 2008-2012. Countless titles in La Liga and three-time UEFA Champions League winner. One of the most successful goalkeepers of all times.
Strengths: Reflexes, spectacular shot-stopping, agility
Weaknesses: Always good for a blooper, height


  • Reflex score: 100%
  • Mentality score: 95%


Additional reading: Best striker ever in football


3. Oliver Kahn (Karlsruher FC, Bayern Munich)

The big blonde German was blessed with abnormal ambition and determination. Won everything with Bayern Munich, his biggest hour was the penalty shooting against Valencia in Champions League final 2001, which he won almost single-handedly. In 2002 he led the German squad into the world cup final with crazy saves. There he was responsible for the loss after he slipped a ball that he would normally have kept with his little finger. But no one really was angry with him, because without him Germany would never ever have reached that final after all. In fact that mistake made him human and brought him sympathy overall.

Achievements: Chmapions League victory 2001, a record-breaking eight German Bundesliga titles
Strengths: Mental focus, will power, one against one duels
Weaknesses: Kind of crazy, hotheaded


  • Reflex score: 95%
  • Mentality score: 100%



2. Peter Czech (Chelsea London, Arsenal London)

The tall keeper has been a great backing in Chelsea`s defense for many years now. Hardly makes mistakes and with his reach and reflexes always hard to overcome. One of the best of all time for sure, despite missing success with his national squad.

Achievements: Champions League victory 2012, several Premier League titles and individual awards
Strengths: Reach, reflexes, composure in heated moments
Weaknesses: Nothing worth mentioning


  • Reflex score: 90%
  • Mentality score: 95%



1. Gianluigi Buffon (AC Parma, Juventus Turin)

The icon of Italian football has won everything he possibly could have in his long career. Champions League, Italian championships and cups, world cup 2006 etc.
He certainly had that aura of impregnability for almost two centuries, he made strikers shiver when they ran towards them. That`s why for me Gianluigi Buffon is the best goalkeeper ever!

Achievements: World cup champion 2006, countless league titles and four-times runner-up in Champions League final
Strengths: Aura of insuperableness, penalty box domination, positioning, athleticism, amazing shot-stopping
Weaknesses: None at all in his prime. At the age of 40 of course reflexes go into decline.


  • Reflex score: 100%
  • Mentality score: 100%


Best goalkeeper ever in football [CC BY-SA 3.0, CC BY-SA 3.0 oder GFDL], via Wikimedia Commons

The ranking of the best goalkeepers ever in football is certainly debatable. Do you agree or is a specific goalie missing in your opinion?







1 Comment

  1. Have you ever watched Schmeichel yet? Have you ever seen his enormous reflexes? I don’t think so. And Neuer? Maybe Neuer isn’t the best goalkeeper in modern football history, but better than Kahn, no doubt… I prefer Neuer to Buffon because of his playmaking abilities…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.