Best Soccer Goalies of All Time

Here is a list of who I think are some of the best soccer goalies of all time. There are countless ‘good’ keepers out there, but it takes a really special player to set himself apart from the crowd and excel consistently at the top level. If you are an aspiring keeper then these are excellent figures to learn from as their quality has brough them much individual and team success. Even if you are an outfield player, this may also be relevant so that you can appreciate the role of the keeper. Note that this list is in no particular order.

Gordon Banks

Born in 1937 in Sheffield, he made 23 appearances for Chesterfield, 293 appearances for Leicester City and 194 appearances for Stoke city. In addition, he got 73 England caps from 1963 until 1972 when he was forced to retire after a car accident. He was 1966 World Cup Winner  and arguably made the world’s greatest save against Pele’s header in a 1970 world cup match between England and Brazil.

Lev Yashin

Born in 1929 in Moscow, he made 326 appearances for Dynamo Moscow, in addition to winning 78 international caps 1954-1970. Named European Footballer of the Year in 1963 and received the Soviet Union’s Order of Lenin in 1969. He won 4 league championships with his domestic team Dynamo Moscow.

Dino Zoff

Born in 1942, he made 143 appearances for Napoli and 330 for Juventus in addition to playing for Udinese and Mantova. He was a World Cup winning captain in 1982. For Juventus he won 6 league titles and the UEFA Cup. From September 1973 until June 1974, for a run of 12 matches and 1143 minutes of soccer, he did not concede a single international goal.

Sepp Maier

He was named 4th in the IFFHS Goalkeeper of the Century. He won the World Cup in 1974 after being runner-up in 1966. He also won the European Championship in 1972 and was runner-up in 1976. In total he played 95 times for Germany and was named the country’s goalkeeper of the century. In domestic football he won 4 German championships and 4 German cups.

Pat Jennings

Born in 1945, he played 673 games for Tottenham and over 300 at Arsenal. He played 119 times for Northern Ireland, including two world cups. He managed to survive playing for both Arsenal and Tottenham, when they are arch enemies to say the least! He won the FA Cup, league cup and the UEFA Cup.

 

Peter Shilton

Born in 1949 in Leicester, he played over 1005 league matches for 11 different clubs. He gained more England caps than any other player, including those in the 1990 World Cup at the age of 40. He has won and received many awards and honours, including the MBE and OBE. Plus, he was the victim of Maradona’s ‘hand of God’!

David Seaman

Born in 1963 in Rotheram, he played for Leeds, Peterborough, Birmingham, QPR, Arsenal and Manchester City. It was even reported that Juventus once made a £5m bid for him (a good sum then). He is praised by Peter Schmichael and Bob Wilson with one of the greatest ever saves: the claw-back for Arsenal against Sheffield United. Plus, he wore a pony tail!

 

Peter Schmichael´

Born in 1963, he played for various clubs including Brondby, Manchester United and their rivals Manchester City. He is famously known as ‘The Great Dane’. Won the Champions League with Manchester United, as well as 5 league titles and 3 FA Cups. He was voted the world’s best goalie in 1992 and 1993.´

Oliver Kahn

Nicknamed King Kahn, he became was ranked the world’s number 1 goalie after the 2002 World Cup when he became the first ever keeper to win the Golden Ball. He was World Goalkeeper of the Year in 1999, 2001 and 2002, as well as European Goalkeeper of the Year in 1999, 2000, 2001 and 2002. He is a Champions League, UEFA Cup and World Club Cup winner, plus he was German Player of the Year in 2000 and 2001.

Edwin van der Saar

Born in 1970, he has played for various top clubs including Ajax, Juventus, Fulham and Manchester United. He is a UEFA Cup and Champions League winner, as well as being the most capped player ever for the Netherlands. He kept 24 clean sheets 2007-2008 for United.

Gianluigi Buffon

He won the World Cup in 2006, 2 Italian Supercups and the UEFA Cup. He was ranked the best player for the 2002-2003 Champions’ League and was the IFFHS best goalkeeper in 2003,  2004, 2006 and 2007. He was in the UEFA team of the year for 2003, 2004 and 2006, as well as being included in the FIFPro World XI in 2006 and 2007. He became the world’s most expensive goalie ever when Juventus paid over £32m for his signing.

Jens Lehmann

He has played for Shalke 04, Borussia Dortmund, AC Milan, Arsenal and Stuttgart. He is arguably most known for his controversial antics, but is a world class goalie and leader at the back. He was UEFA Goalkeeper of the Year in 1997 ans 2006. He made the all-star team at the 2006 World Cup when he helped Germany to the semi-final. He filled David Seaman’s boots at Arsenal, and took them to the final of the Champions League as well as going through their ‘invincibles’ season where they did not lose a single league game.

Iker Casillas

Casillas has won the European Super Cup, the Inter Continental Cup, the World Cup 2010, 2 Champions Leagues, 3 Spanish Super Cups, 4 La Liga titles and the 2008 European Championship. He has been the Real Madrid number 1 since 1999 and was named the best goalkeeper in Europe by UEFA in 2008 and 2009. He was the FIFA goalkeeper of the year in 2009 and the IFFHS goalie of the year in 2008 and 2009.

Mohammed Al-Deayea

Al-Deayea holds a massive 181 caps for Saudi Arabia, a record for a male player. He has performed for his country in no less than 4 World Cups. His penalty saves in the 1996 Asian Cup final helped his country to victory.

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Well that rounds off my list of some of the best soccer goalies of all time. I hope you enjoyed the info!

Have fun,

Soccer Geek

P.S. Who else would you add to this list?

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  1. [...] NB:  If would personally have included David Seaman and Peter Shilton in this list, as well as Pat Jennings. Other keepers like Lev Yashin could not be included in the FIFA 100, as that only included living footballers in 2004. Click here to see my list of the best ever soccer goalkeepers. [...]

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