Ranking 12 goalkeepers with #SafeHands who put on outstanding individual performances

  • Kat Lucas
Arsenal v Manchester United - Premier League

Football, Carlo Ancelotti once said, might not be the most important thing in the world - but it's the most important of the least important things. 

Like the rest of the world, we are missing it desperately while it's been put on hold. 

However, with COVID-19 continuing to spread, sport cannot, and should not, be the priority right now. 

As part of the #SafeHands initiative, people are being urged to wash their hands frequently throughout the day, applying plenty of soap and water and scrubbing thoroughly for at least 20-30 seconds. 

And naturally, as we reach Day Four without football, that got us thinking about... well, safe hands. 

Goalkeepers. You have to be crazy to be one, so they say. They often don't get the glory. 

Here at GIVEMESPORT, we are on a mission to change that and reminisce about some of the best individual performances by stoppers of the modern era. 

So enjoy, and most importantly, once you've finished scrolling through and admiring them, do us all a favour and go and wash your hands. 

12. Iker Casillas v Liverpool

Let's gloss over the final score for a moment as Fernando Torres and Steven Gerrard were on fire. The 4-0 rout would have been even worse if it weren't for Casillas, whose acrobatics kept out Javier Mascherano, his compatriot Torres, Martin Skrtel and co.

Real Madrid's Spanish goalkeeper Iker Ca

11. Manuel Neuer v Man United

Manchester United waltzed past Schalke to the 2011 Champions League final but only won 2-0 out in Germany thanks to Neuer's exploits. It was enough to convince Sir Alex Ferguson, who later admitted he had wanted the ultimate 'sweeper keeper' to succeed Edwin van der Sar - not David de Gea.

Manchester's manager Alex Ferguson (R) g

10. Jan Oblak v Liverpool

Our most recent entry, as it was only last week. The Slovenian may have let two goals in on the night, but he also made nine saves, six of which came from shots inside the box. If it weren't for Oblak, we wouldn't have been talking about a Diego Simeone masterless at all.

9. Alisson Becker v Tottenham Hotspur

Divock Origi is remembered as the hero of the Champions League final for the goal that sealed Liverpool's sixth European title. Yet at the other end, Alisson made more saves than any other stopper has ever had to make in the showpiece occasion.

Tottenham Hotspur v Liverpool - UEFA Champions League Final

8. Thibaut Courtois v Brazil

Belgium's 2-1 win over Brazil didn't tell half the story. Even if Courtois has been hit and miss in recent seasons, on this occasion he was at his very best, with only Renato Augusto finding a way past him.


7. Joe Hart v Barcelona

Manchester City actually lost 1-0 to Barcelona at Camp Nou but it would have been an absolute mauling if it weren't for the then world-class England international. Hart had to face 11 shots on target as Lionel Messi, Neymar and Luis Suarez ripped through City's defence. 


6. Gianluigi Buffon v Germany

Buffon kept five clean sheets during Italy's road to World Cup glory in 2006 and this was arguably the best of them. The Azzurri stopper denied Lukas Podolski with a brilliant one-handed save and ensured his normally defensive-minded teammates could go all out in attack in extra time. But if there's one man who we bet could have stopped the Germans from winning on penalties...

Italian goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon (C)

5. Marc-Andre ter Stegen v Bayern Munich

Many now consider Marc-Andre ter Stegen to be the best goalkeeper in the world. Back then, he was fighting against Claudio Bravo to become Barcelona's number one. Yes, you read that correctly. His extraordinary double-save was voted by UEFA as the best of the 2014/15 season. 

4. Tim Krul v Tottenham

Funnily enough, the last action at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium for the foreseeable future was Krul saving a Gedson Fernandes penalty to send Norwich to the FA Cup quarter-finals - but we're talking about his display for Newcastle in 2013. The Magpies won 1-0, with Krul making 14 saves - it was the most attempts any Premier League side had made without scoring for eight seasons. 

Tottenham Hotspur v Newcastle United - Premier League

3. Guillermo Ochoa vs Brazil

The Mexican helped his nation to a goalless draw with the Selecao at the 2014 World Cup, frustrating Neymar with a save that was even compared to Gordon Banks vs Pele. Ochoa was rightly named Man of the Match.

Brazil v Mexico: Round of 16 - 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia

2. Tim Howard v Belgium

The USA were knocked out by Belgium after extra time thanks to goals from Kevin De Bruyne and Romelu Lukaku. It was only down to Howard that it got that far, as the former Manchester United and Everton goalkeeper made 16 saves to deny Eden Hazard, Dries Mertens and co. 

Belgium v USA: Round of 16 - 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil

1. David de Gea v Arsenal

Every Arsenal fan came away baffled as to how they had lost 3-1 to Manchester United. De Gea broke a Premier League record by making 14 saves, with the Gunners attempting 33 shots overall. 


Had the Yashin Award been established a little earlier, quite a few of the 'keepers mentioned above would surely have joined Alisson in boasting the trophy on their mantelpieces. 

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