Soccer World Cup

Top-10 Goalkeepers in the World of Soccer

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Top 10 Goalkeepers in the World of Soccer

Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Of all the sporting positions in the entire world, goalkeeping in soccer may be one of the strangest. It’s the only position in any sport that requires the athlete to do the complete opposite of every other teammate on the field.

It takes a very special person to be a goalkeeper. They have to be agile, good with their feet, good with their hands, have great reaction times and be a vocal leader. In other words, to be a goalkeeper, you have to, first and foremost, be completely crazy.

The craziest type of athlete on Earth, however, is the international goalkeeper. Not only does a successful international goalkeeper have to have all the qualifications of the other two, but their skills must be flawless. An international goalkeeper cannot make mistakes. One bad mistake and a goalkeeper goes from just a member of the national team to the most hated man in the country.

Life is tough for an international keeper, but they’re the most important player on the field. In international play between top teams, soccer usually comes down to just a few on-target shots. One save can determine the outcome of a game and “clutch” ability is one of the things that determine what makes an international keeper one of the best.

When trying to determine the top-10 goalkeepers in the world, I tried to focus on performance, big play capability, national team results and, most importantly, how important they are to the team.

If you have other suggestions or believe that one of these goalkeepers doesn’t deserve to be on this list, feel free to suggest who and why in the comments below. Here is a list of the top-10 goalkeepers in the world:

Taylor Sturm is an SEC Basketball Writer for Follow him on Twitter @TSturmRS or add him to your network on Google.

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No. 10 Wojciech Szczesny – Poland

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Poland isn’t known for their defense and, although they won’t go to the World Cup, Szczesny plays well for them. Did I mention that he starts for Arsenal?

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No. 9 Joe Hart - England

Scott Rovak-USA TODAY Sports

England’s keeper is consistent for both the national team and his club team, Manchester City.

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No. 8 Hugo Lloris - France

Presse Sports-USA TODAY Sports

Lloris is one of the more underrated players in the world, but he does everything right that is needed for a potential World Cup winning team.

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No. 7 Maarten Stekelenburg - Netherlands

Witters Sport-USA TODAY Sports

Stekelenburg has a great record with the Dutch national team. If only he could stop penalties in big games….

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No. 6 Tim Howard - USA

Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports

Most people wouldn’t have Howard this high on the list, but the USA is the best defense in the CONCACAF region due to his outstanding ability to make saves count. In every close USA win, there is at least one save Howard makes that saves the game.

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No. 5 Julio Cesar – Brazil

Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

Brazil’s defense is so good that a keeper needs to be on his toes or the one chance an opponent has all game could cost Brazil. Cesar comes through time and time again.

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No. 4 Petr Cech - Czech Republic

Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Chelsea’s keeper is hands down one of the best, probably of all time.

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No. 3 Gianluigi Buffon - Italy

Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY

Buffon is getting on in years, but he’s still one of the best keepers in the world. There is no better keeper at stopping penalties.

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No. 2 Iker Casillas - Spain

David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

Iker Casillas may be tied with No. 1 on this list for best in the world. He’s that good.

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No. 1 Manuel Neuer - Germany

Witters Sport-USA TODAY Sports

After his performances for Bayern Munich, he was the best goalkeeper in the world. Coupled with his performances for Germany, there’s not anyone else close.