Best Goalkeepers in the World 2021 – The Ultimate List

With Tottenham’s Lloris aging, Manchester United’s David De Gea inconsistent and even the world’s most expensive goalie in Chelsea’s Kepa Arrizabalaga already a certified flop, every football fan is seeking the best goalkeepers in the world to recommend to their club.

The importance of the goalkeeping department has come to the fore in recent years. This was especially boosted by Liverpool’s positive change in fortune when they signed Allison Becker. Other teams like Atletico Madrid and Burnley are renowned for being unplayable due to the astute abilities of the goalkeepers.

A goalkeeper crisis nearly cost Chelsea a Champions League place in 2020 while it ensured Liverpool lost the UCL to Real Madrid in 2018.

Understanding the pertinence of the men in glove to any team, this article lists the best goalkeepers in Europe’s top five league in the 2020/21 campaign.

What Makes A Good Goalkeeper

Many followers of football today believe that the quality of a goalkeeper is determined by how many clean sheets they keep or the number of goals conceded. But this is theoretically false as clean sheets and goal concession can be determined by the sheer brilliance of defenders.

Also teams that boss games and rack up more possession are more likely to keep clean sheets as they tend to concede less shots and subsequently less goals.

This eliminates another criterion: shots saved. It is no brain surgery that the number of shots saved per game is directly proportional to the amount faced. This means that goalies that face more shots will boast more saves compared to the other divide. This has seen relegation candidates as well as teams with less possession have keepers in their ranks with gargantuan number of saves, rendering this model as very inaccurate.

So how is a good goalkeeper ascertained?

Straightforward: Save percentage. The number of shots saved in proportionality with the amounts faced is how every modern goalkeeper is analysed.

In context, when Liverpool goalie, Allison Becker, won the Yashine Trophy in 2020, which is the Ballon d’Or for keepers, he had the highest save percentage of any Premier League goalkeeper. He also won the FIFA Goalkeeper of the Year, Champions League goalkeeper of the season as well as Premier League and Copa America Golden Gloves with those stats.

So this criterion is etched in stone and record: the best goalkeeper is he with the highest save percentage at the highest level.

To select the pick of the bunch, we have filtered our criteria to:

• Only Goalkeepers in Europe’s Top Five Leagues: England, Spain, Italy, Germany and France.

• Only goalkeepers with 10 or more league appearances.

Best Goalkeepers in the World 2021

10. Hugo Lloris – Tottenham

Goalkeepers are known to have a considerably longer playing life than outfield players but bossing the game at 35 is still an incredible feat. Tottenham and France captain, Hugo Lloris sits 10th as the oldest of the best goalkeepers in the world.

He makes an average of 2.8 saves per game, that has fetched him 10 clean sheets in 29 games. He has conceded 30 goals in that period.

9. Nick Pope – Burnley

Touted as England’s next number one, Nick Pope has been a revelation since supplanting Tom Heaton in Burnley’s goal.

The player who turns 29 in April has patiently waited for a decent run of games in the top flight, before getting his opportunity in the 2017/18 season. Since then, he has evolved into one of the best in his position in England, with every club, local and abroad, scrambling for his services.

Pope is the only player on this list not playing for a current top 10 side.

8. Marc Andre Ter Stegen – Barcelona

It has substantially increased from low whispers into ear-piercing shouts in the past few months that Spanish giants, Barcelona, are in crisis. From crashing out of the Champions League in embarrassing fashion, to struggling to tie down their greatest ever player, the problems are endless.

But amidst that doom and gloom is a shining light called Andre Ter Stegen. The 1992-born German machine makes 2.7 saves per game which is relatively high for a possessive team. Ter Stegen is worth €75 million, making him the most expensive player on this list of best goalkeepers in the world.

7. Mike Maignan – Lille

The youngest goalkeeper on this list, Lille’s Mike Maigan is bound to be the most wanted goalkeeper this transfer window. Aside his quality, this is primarily because his current contract expires in June 2022.

He is the final block of defence in a team that has closely challenged PSG for the title for the first time in aeons.

The French man was acquired for just €1 million in 2015, but will surely return over 15 times in investment no matter his contract situation.

6. Emilano Martinez – Aston Villa

The second-lowest ranked club on this list, Aston Villa goalie, Emilano Martinez, has proved a shrewd acquisition for the villains. The Argentine has been pivotal in Villa’s transformation from relegation fodder to a top 10 side.

It begs the question: Why was a peripheral figure during his time at the emirates?

Only Nick Pope makes more save per game than the 28-year-old of all players on this list of best goalkeepers in the world. In addition, none of this other goalies has kept more clean sheets than him.

5. Ederson – Manchester City

The award for 2021’s best goalkeeper in the Premier league goes to Manchester City’s Ederson. Although signed mainly for his passing ability, Ederson is obviously good with his hands as expected from the average goalkeepers.

Keeping up to his single Brazilian name, Ederson is the only enlisted goalkeeper with an assist to his name.

4. Thibaut Courtois – Real Madrid

The tallest player on this list of best goalkeepers in the world is Real Madrid’s Thibaut Courtois. The former Chelsea man, who falls just 1cm short of 2m, has been ever present for his inconsistent side in 2021.

He is one of the few enlisted goalies to have saved a penalty this season. The Belgian number one however has made one goal-causing error this season.

3. Keylor Navas – Paris Saint-Germain

France’s best goalkeeper according to save percentage is Keylor Navas. The Croatian has manned the sticks for his side, as they made a remarkable comeback to defend their Ligue 1 title.

Navas has a 50% penalty save rate, the joint-highest on this list of best goalkeepers in the world. He has also conceded the lowest amount of goals this campaign.

2. Jan Oblak – Atletico Madrid

One of the most consistent goalies in world football, Jan Oblak falls just short of being the best goalkeeper in the world.

The Slovenian product has kept the joint-highest number of clean sheets of players on this list of the best goalkeepers in the world.

He also has the joint-highest penalty save rate of players on this list.

1. Yassine Bounou – Sevilla

Drum roll for the best goalkeeper in the world, Yassine Bounou of Sevilla. The Moroccan international stands as the only African player on this list.

At 1.92 metre, he is the second tallest on this list, and the only goalie to have a goal to his name.

He has the joint-highest penalty save rate of players on this list and is fondly called Bono.

Best Goalkeepers In the World 2021

Here is a simplified list of the best goalkeepers in the world for quick recap.

10. Hugo Lloris – Tottenham

9. Nick Pope – Burnley

8. Marc – Andre Ter Stegen – Barcelona

7. Mike Maignan – Lille

6. Emilano Martinez – Aston Villa

5. Ederson – Manchester City

4. Thibaut Courtois – Real Madrid

3. Keylor Navas – Paris Saint-Germain

2. Jan Oblak – Atletico Madrid

1. Yassine Bounou – Sevilla


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