With less than a month left for the biggest carnival on Earth to kick off, we look at five outstanding shot-stoppers who would look to make a mark for their national team and lead them towards their ultimate goa- The FIFA World Cup.
Wojciech Szczesny: Poland
The Polish international has played the second fiddle to Italian Legend Gigi Buffon this season at Juventus, but with the Italian leaving at the end of the summer he is certain to get the number one spot at Turin. Later in June, he is all set to make his World Cup debut for his country after they failed to qualify the last two editions of the competition. He is 28 and has reached the peak of his career. During his long spell with Arsenal in England, he has been at fault for committing silly blunders between the sticks and also a few smoking scandals, but after he had been loaned out, it looks as though he has matured into a reliable keeper and is adept at saving penalties and shot stopping. He has now established himself as the more likely candidate in the starting line up for Poland.
Juventus goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny has stated the importance of Poland’s pre-World Cup friendly game against Nigeria.https://t.co/MzMwZZV9G1
— Goal.com Nigeria (@GoalcomNigeria) March 22, 2018
Alisson Becker: Brazil
When you keep out a man that has won the Premier League trophy with exemplary performances, you surely have to be one of the Best Goalkeeper’s in the World right now. Alisson Becker has earned a name for himself at club Roma after outstanding and consistent performances throughout the season. In the 34 appearances that he made, he has mustered a total of 15 clean sheets and has a distribution accuracy of 83%. He has made 3.49 saves per goal and with a claimed success of 90%, he cemented his place in Brazil starting 11. Showing that he is one of the most reliable keepers in the world, there a host of big clubs gunning for his services next season and Alisson will be hoping to put on a show for everyone watching.
Thibaut Courtois: Belgium
He remains the undisputed numero-uno for the Belgium Red Devils followed by Liverpool Goalkeeper, Simon Mignolet. Since making his National Debut in 2011, he’s made 55 appearances for the national side and has also started all the matches at last year’s World cup until they bowed out in the Quarter Finals. The Chelsea man is easily one of the tallest keepers in the World, standing at 1.99m, and hence he is extremely good at dealing with aerial balls and set pieces with some comfort. He has good concentration levels and great reflexes make him an all-round excellent keeper and surely one to watch out for in Russia.
103 – Thibaut Courtois has kept 103 clean sheets in the top 5 European leagues since his debut for Atletico Madrid in August 2011; only Gianluigi Buffon (117) has kept more. Handy. pic.twitter.com/6uFD5sbLwq
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) May 31, 2018
David De Gea: Spain
The worlds best for some and one of the best for the others, David De Gea is undoubtedly an early front-runner for the Golden Glove award at the World cup after winning the Premier League golden glove with 18 clean sheets to his name. one would believe that if he could do so with Phil Jones and Chris Smalling in front of him, why not with the likes of Sergio Ramos and Gerard Pique? With an average of 3.58 saves per goal and a claimed success of 86%, he has kept 14 clean sheets in his previous 27 outings with the national side as of date. With a great defense in front of him, coupled with his extremely strong reflexes and amazing shot stopping, David De Gea has finally an opportunity to be recognized as the Worlds best at a stage fit for such an achievement.
Manuel Neuer: Germany
Neuer has time and again proven in the past why he is regarded as the world’s best. His stability and leadership in front of goal are second to none and what makes him better than the rest is his abilities as a sweeper keeper. The man who started the art of a sweeper keeper has led his side with an example. The mere presence of the man between the sticks is a huge confidence booster for the team. Germany’s main man has played only 4 competitive games this season but the German manager has time and again reinstated the fact that the German’s wouldn’t step out on the pitch without their star keeper. If this Champion gets going, its safe to say he might take them all the way to another world cup winner’s medal.