If we take a look at the most awaiting global events of 2014, FIFA world cup will surely be out there on the top. This is the event in which all national football teams compete with each other with only one purpose, to win the prestigious trophy and be the world champions. But have you ever wondered, what qualities are required for a team to win a tournament? Many football fans believe that a good striker can easily lead his team to the trophy. But the fact is, this is not enough. It has been observed numerous times that a good goalkeeper can also lead his team to the victory. Who can forget the hard work and dedication of Iker Casillas, who led his team to success in the 2010 FIFA world cup in which he conceded only 2 goals in the whole tournament? Goalkeepers are considered as the backbone of any football team. The performance of a team depends greatly on the importance of its goalkeeper. So here, we are going to have a look at the Top 10 Best Football Goalkeepers Of 2014 who, with their skills, reflexes and hard work, caught the eye of critics from all over the world.
10. David de Gea
The goalkeeper we have on number 10 is David de Gea. He was born in Madrid, Spain and plays for the club Manchester United. At the age of just 23, he is the 1st team choice of the manager leaving goalkeepers like Anders Lindegaard far behind. During the season of 2013/14 he made a total of 37 appearances in the premier league and made more than 90 saves with 12 clean sheets. He was also named as Manchester United’s player of the year and he is considered as the perfect replacement of Iker Casillas for the Spain’s national team.
9. Victor Valdes
The goalkeeper who surpassed de Gea this season is Victor Valdes. He is also from Spain and plays for FC Barcelona. Now some of the readers might be surprised to see this name in the list of top 10 but the fact is even at the age of 32, Victor Valdes had one of the best seasons of his career before he got injured and stayed out of the game for more than 3 months. Still in the 26 games that he appeared, he managed to make 69 saves with excellent record of 12 clean sheets.
8. Morgan de Sanctis
Another name which may come as a surprise in this list is the AS Roma goalkeeper Morgan de Sanctis. Born and raised in Italy, Morgan was one of the key players in the team that helped them gain number 2 spot in the league. He guided his team in many crucial matches. Sadly he could not make it to the Italy’s national team due to the presence of Buffon who is considered one of the best goalkeepers of modern age. During the season 2013/14 Morgan made 22 appearances for his club. One interesting thing here is that in his initial 17 appearances, he kept 11 clean sheets which easily explains his quality.
7. Marc-Andre ter Stegen
7th spot in this list is taken by 22 years old Marc Andre ter Stegen who belongs to Germany and plays for the club Borussia Mönchengladbach. During the recent couple of years, ter Stegen has appeared as one of the finest young goalkeepers of this modern age. The quality of this man can easily be explained from the fact that he recently signed for FC Barcelona which is one of the best clubs at the moment. During the season 2013/14 he made 34 league appearances and made almost 140 saves, proving to be an unbeatable wall for the strikers.
6. Diego Lopez
Yet another goalkeeper in this list who belongs to Spain is Diego Lopez who plays for Real Madrid FC. He joined the team due to the injury of Iker Casillas who was the first choice goalkeeper at that time but soon gained publicity among the fans with some excellent performances for the club. Ultimately he became the first choice goalkeeper of Madrid proving to be a tough competitor for Casillas. He was part of the squad who won the UEFA champions league for the first time in 10 years. He made 36 league appearances for his team and kept 16 clean sheets.
5. Hugo Lloris
27 years old French International who is also country’s 1st choice goalkeeper plays for the English club Tottenham Hotspurs. Although his team couldn’t do much in the league, he is still a potential candidate to be one of the best goalkeepers of the world. He played 37 matches for his club and made a total of 103 saves including 14 clean sheets. His unorthodox height and style gives him a certain edge over many other good goalkeepers.
4. Petr Cech
The goalkeeper that takes the number 4 spot in our list is Petr Cech who belongs to Czechoslovakia and plays for Chelsea FC. He is considered as one of the most consistent goalkeepers of the decade and has led his team to victory on numerous occasions. He was declared premier league’s goalkeeper of the year during the season 2013/14 due to his extra ordinary performances in the league. The 32 years old Czech International made 34 appearances and kept 16 clean sheets for his team before getting injured.
3. Thibaut Nicolas Marc Courtois
Another young emerging goalkeeper who gained very high rank among the critics in a very short time is Thibaut Courtois who plays for Belgium. At the club level he is a part of Chelsea but was loaned to Atletico Madrid for the whole season. At a small age of 22, he led his team win the league title leaving teams like Real Madrid and FC Barcelona far behind. He played 37 matches for his team and conceded the least number of goals during the whole season. His extraordinary height and long arms were proved very difficult to beat for players like Messi and Ronaldo. Due to his effort for his team, we give him number 3 spot in our list.
2. Gianluigi Buffon
On 2nd spot the goalkeeper we have is Buffon who plays for Juventus and belongs to Italy. He also had a great season with the club and led his team win the league title yet another time. In the 33 games he played for the club, he made 86 saves and more importantly kept 18 clean sheets which is a remarkable achievement at the age of 36.He is still the first choice goalkeeper for Italy and even goalkeepers like Morgan cannot match him. He is also the captain of Italy’s national team and was the main reason behind Italy’s success in the world cup 2006.
1. Manuel Neuer
No surprises as the goalkeeper who tops our list is none other than Germany’s Manuel Neuer. He is 28 years of age and plays for the club FC Bayern Munich. He is considered as the football genius among the critics because of his unique style. He has been performing consistently well for his country and his club and 2013/14 was yet another season to prove his class. He was included in the team of the season due to his contribution to football.
He represented the club on 31 occasions and kept 15 clean sheets. Many fans believe that he will stay as the best goalkeeper in the world for many more years.