Goal scorers usually get all the attention, but the goaltenders are the ones that win games. Goalkeepers define big moments in 90 minutes, and having one of the best shot-stoppers in the world as your first choice might mean the difference between winning and losing. The 25 best goalkeepers in the world right now are listed below.
Now that goalkeepers are expected to do more than save shots, it’s only fair that we judge them on their ability to do more. While most of us are aware of Expected Goals (xG), goalkeepers can use the Post-Shot Expected Goals model (PSG).
1. Jan Oblak, Atlántico Madrid and Slovenia
Last season, Oblak was a vital member of Atletico Madrid’s title-winning team, keeping clean sheets in 47.4% of their 38 La Liga games.
Oblak has won the Ricardo Zamora Trophy – granted to the goalie in La Liga with the lowest goals-to-game ratio – in five of the last six seasons, despite his current form.
2. Aaron Ramsdale, Arsenal, and England
Aaron Ramsdale plans to be in Qatar for the 2022 World Cup. 23 might be England’s number one goalkeeper. In his eight league appearances this season, the teenage star has saved 86.2 percent of the 29 shots he’s faced, maintaining five clean sheets. He signed for Arsenal for a club-record fee of up to £30 million in the summer.
3. David De Gea, Manchester United, and Spain
Although David De Gea’s star has dimmed as Manchester United’s woes continue, his shot-stopping ability ensures that he remains on our list. Despite United’s struggles, only 23 goalkeepers in Europe’s top five leagues kept more clean sheets than De Gea, who demonstrated his worth earlier this season when he saved Mark Noble’s last-minute penalty in a 2-1 win over West Ham.
4. Alisson, Liverpool, and Brazil
Alisson was named Best FIFA Goalkeeper in 2019, and he went on to help Liverpool win the Premier League for the first time in 30 years. In the Champions League ending, he kept a clean sheet to help Liverpool win their sixth European Cup. When he headed home against West Brome in May 2021, he became the first goalkeeper to score a match-winning goal. The Brazilian is multi-talented and people get to wait for the given title to him the best goalkeeper in the world of all time
5. David Ospina, Napoli, and Colombia
During his time there, the Colombian goalkeeper may not have been a fan favorite at Arsenal. Still, he’s had a renaissance of form with Napoli since leaving in 2018 and was a key part of their Coppa Italia-winning run last season. He saved 76.9% of the shots he faced last season, and that number has risen to an incredible 87.5 percent this season.
6. Mike Maignan, AC Milan and France
Maignan is another young goalkeeper on the rise, and it would come as no surprise if he became France’s number one in the not-too-distant future. After going through the PSG junior systems, he joined Lille and was named Ligue 1’s number one goalkeeper in 2018-19. Last season, he had more clean sheets (55.3%) than any other goalkeeper in Europe’s top five divisions, and he helped Lille win their first title in ten years. He joined AC Milan in the summer and has stopped 82.6 percent of the shots he’s faced this season. He made his seat on the list of the best goalkeepers in the world.
7. Gianluigi Donnarumma, PSG and Italy
Donnarumma became Italy’s youngest-ever goalkeeper in 2016, at the age of 17 years and 189 days, and his journey to the top has been unstoppable. He saved a penalty in the Euro 2020 semifinal against Spain and then two spot-kicks in the final against England, almost becoming the nation’s hero. With PSG, the teenage goalkeeper is regarded as one of the most dynamic and best goalkeepers in the world cup.
8. Edouard Mendy, Chelsea and Senegal
Chelsea’s captain has only been with the club for a year, but he has already established himself as a hero figure. Chelsea overcame Manchester City 1-0 to win their second European Cup in his debut Premier League season. He kept 16 clean sheets and nine clean sheets in the Champions League. He has the best save success rate in Europe this season at 93.1 percent.
9. Ederson, Manchester City, and Brazil
Ederson, the winner of the last two Premier League Golden Gloves, is difficult to leave out of the top two. He is a three-time Premier League champion, four-time League Cup winner, FA Cup winner, Cope America winner, and Man City’s and Brazil’s number one shot-stopper. In his last 46 league appearances, he has kept 25 clean sheets, a European high of 54.3 percent.
10. Thibaut Courtois, Real Madrid and Belgium
Right now, Courtois is the best goalkeeper in the world. Courtois, a three-time Zamora Trophy winner, and Premier League Golden Glove winner, was named FIFA Keeper of the Year in 2018, and his form hasn’t slowed since.
Last year, no goalkeeper in Europe had a higher save percentage than Courtois (81.1%), as he stopped 90 of the 111 shots he faced. Madrid is struggling this season, but Courtois is one of the best goalkeepers in the world.
11. Mark Flekken
In 2021, Mark Flekken was Bundesliga’s breakout star. He is one of the key reasons SC Freiburg is now atop the Bundesliga standings. In 2018, the Dutch professional made headlines for all the wrong reasons when he turned his back on the goal to sip water, and the opposition scored in his net. Flekken joined SC Freiburg last season as a promising goalkeeper. Still, he was forced to sit out the entire season due to persistent injuries, only returning to play the final three games of the 2020/21 Bundesliga season.
The 2021/22 season has proven to showcase Flekken’s shot-stopping talents. In 21 appearances for Freiburg in 2021, the 28-year-old Dutch goalkeeper conceded 1.10 goals per 90 minutes, making 3.7 saves /90 minutes and having a saves percentage of 79.3%, which is among the best in Europe. His lack of command of the 18-yard box, his distribution, and his starting position as a goalkeeper are all flaws in his style of play. Still, the system has caused the Dutchman to drop deeper since his average defensive action distance is less than 14.8 yards.
11. Péter Gulàcsi
Péter Gulàcsi has been with RB Leipzig for six years before playing for Red Bull Salzburg. Many of the club’s finest defenders and forwards have left for greater possibilities in the last six years. As a result, the 31 year old has done an outstanding job for a team that has been in continual rebuilding mode due to the club’s sell-to-buy philosophy.
Gulàcsi has surrendered 1.38 goals per 90 minutes over the last 12 months, with a PSxG of 1.27 per 90 minutes, giving him a PSxG+/- score of -0.09. Sweeping duties, the Hungarian has completed 1.48 defensive actions outside the penalty area (#OPA) in the last year, with an average defensive action distance of 18.3 yards.
13. Manuel Neuer
Manuel Peter Neuer is a goalkeeper who shows Germany in international football. And are the head of both Bayern Munich and the national team of Germany. He is known as one of the best goalkeepers in world history.
14. Jordan Pickford
Pickford has had quite the redemption story in the last year, despite spending much of his Premier League career as a joke.
He’s quietly improved his consistency and remains as useful in possession as ever, while he was one of the best players at Euro 2020 and would have been a national hero if England had won the final shootout.
15. Keylor Nava
Nava is a sizzling goalkeeper with a well-known name. With Real Madrid, he was the hero of his position in the UEFA Champions League. For his outstanding penalty-saving talents, he was dubbed “The Wall.” His mind-blowing performance in the Champions League finals has made him one of the most sought-after goalkeepers on the planet, with premier clubs from all across Europe competing for his services.
16. Yassine Bounou (Sevilla)
Since his move to Seville, Morocco international Yassine Bounou, also known as Bono has established himself as one of the best goalkeepers in La Liga. He was a hero as his team won the Europa League in 2020 (Manchester United fans may recall the semi-final), and he’s kept up the good work since then.
17. Samir Handanovic
Inter great Samir Handanovic is exhibiting signs of slowing down, but it isn’t to the cost of his team. Last season, the Nerazzurri won Serie A, the first major honor in his career. Perhaps there will be a few more.
18. Joe Corrigan
It’s not easy to forget how good Joe Corrigan was in the net. Sure, he has known his name and may have seen him play once or twice, but he will always be known as England’s backup goalkeeper. And you may thank a certain Ray Clemencies and Peter Shelton for it. It was always difficult to get a look in on the international stage with two such superb goalkeepers battling for the same shirt.
Joe would have been an automatic first choice if he had been born somewhere else, but he was as English as they come, and to be honest, he fared better than most other keepers who happened to be playing. Phil Parks, Jim Montgomery, and Bryan King have never won more than nine caps despite their evident talents. His career started at Manchester City in 1968, but he struggled to establish himself as the club’s first-choice goalkeeper and was even farmed out to Shrewsbury Town at one time. But he overcame his self-doubt to become a City legend in his own right, with Frank Swift and Bert Trumann, and was a member of the team that won the League Championship, UEFA Cup, and League Cup.
He was a massive man who didn’t appear to be much of an athlete, yet his 6ft 4ins, 15 stone bulk belied incredible agility and reflexes. He could control games and turn them around, and although losing the 1981 FA Cup Final replay, he was chosen Man of the Match. When England lined up for the 1982 World Cup finals, he never let his country down either – big Joe was only ever on the losing side once. His career at Maine Road came to an unexpected and unpleasant end when he was transferred to the American team Seattle Sounders for a meager £30,000 after 592 games in 16 seasons.
Manchester City was in the midst of one of its infamous fits of craziness at the time, and manager John Benson, who would be fired himself soon after, felt Corrigan, was no longer needed. He finally returned to England and joined Brighton & Hove Albion before settling down as a goalkeeping coach with Liverpool. Meanwhile, City would spend much of the 1980s bouncing back and forth between the First and Second Divisions, unable to replace the goalkeeper they had written off only a few seasons before.
19. Kasper Schmeichel
Kasper Schmeichel’s performances for Leicester have been unaffected by taking over as captain in the absence of Wes Morgan. During his time at the King Power Stadium, the Denmark international has seen it all. He remains a vital piece of Brendan Rodgers’ team and one of the Premier League’s most dependable goalkeepers.
20. Emiliano Martinez
Emi Martinez has had a meteoric rise. After being thrust into the Arsenal spotlight at the end of last season, the Argentinean moved to Aston Villa to play regular games and has proven to be a truly exceptional player.
He’s so brilliant that he’s become Argentina’s number one, played a key role in their Cope America victory, and earned Leo Messi’s respect.
21. Hugo Loris
The World Cup-winning captain will receive a testimonial with Spurs this summer after signing a contract deal recently. Even the fans are baffled as to why he has chosen to stay at the club.
22. Jose SA (Wolves)
SA, a Portuguese goalkeeper who joined Molineux from Olympics’ last summer, had the difficult task of replacing fan favorite Rui Patricio. He’s fit in perfectly, proving to be one of Europe’s best goalkeepers for a tenacious Wolves side. Only the regular no.1s at the current top three have conceded fewer per 90 than SA, who has the best save percentage in the Premier League (84 percent).
23. Gianluigi Buffon (ITA)
Buffon may well be in the top five by the end of his career, but for now, he must settle for eighth. He transferred to Juventus after impressing at Parma, where he displayed extraordinary commitment by remaining with the club when they were condemning Series B.
He has won the UEFA Cup, the Italian Cup, and two Serie A crowns throughout his club career. His biggest accomplishments have been at the international level, where he has 90 caps and has won a World Cup. Buffon has won the Serie A Goalkeeper of the Year award seven times and the IFFHS Best Goalkeeper award four times, the most of any goalkeeper Maier became one of the most splendid players of his era as a crucial member of Germany and Bayern Munich’s golden era. Bend his name in the list of best goalkeepers in the world.
24. Oliver Kahn (GER)
Oliver Kahn is a well-known architect (GER). Oliver Kahn is one of Germany’s most decorated players of all time, and it’s no wonder that he earned trophies and plaudits wherever he went. Kahn won eight Bundesliga titles, six German Cups, six League Cups, a UEFA Cup, and a Champions League while at Bayern Munich.
The victory streak continued With the national team, which won the German Footballer of the Year award twice, the IFFHS Best Goalkeeper award three times, and the Best Bundesliga Goalkeeper award seven times. Make a record and be known as the current best goalkeepers in the world.
25. Sepp Maier (GER)
Maier was a one-club man who spent years playing with Franz Beckenbauer. Maier became one of the most splendid players of his era as a crucial member of Germany and Bayern Munich’s golden era. Bend his name in the list of best goalkeepers in the world. He won the Bundesliga four times, the German Cup three times, the Cup Winners’ Cup once, and three European Cups. His 95 caps included a European Championships winner’s medal in 1972 and a World Cup winner in 1974.
He was also the three-time winner of the West German Footballer of the Year award. His consistency and good health were key factors in his success. He played 422 consecutive matches between 1966 and 1977. It’s been 11 years since you haven’t missed a game.
Maier, dubbed “Die Katze von Anzing” (the cat from Amazing) by the Munich crowd, was known for his unique long, black shorts. His popularity became even wider, and he won the German Player of the Year award three times to go along with the Golden Glove he received after West Germany’s victory in 1974.
Helmut Schön’s team was no longer a force when the 1978 World Cup finals rolled around, and they were ousted in the second round. That would be Maier’s final major tournament until a car accident ended his career at 35 in 1979. With nearly a century of caps for his country and 13 major titles with Bayern Munich, he is one of the most decorated players in the world.
Above the list, I have explained everything in detail about the best goalkeepers in the world and their performance in history. Let me know in the comments for more information.