Nike official ball is seen over a pedestal with the Serie A logo during the Serie A football match between FC Internazionale and AC Milan at San Siro stadium in Milano Italy, January 5th, 2021. Photo Andrea Staccioli / Insidefoto andreaxstaccioli

Lev Yashin is the only goalkeeper to receive the Golden Ball as the year’s best player. Lev Yashin has saved 150 penalties in his career and is the only goalkeeper to win the European Best Footballer award. Gianluigi Buffon is the only goalkeeper to win the UEFA Club Player of the Year award. Gianluigi Buffon was the world’s most outstanding goalkeeper in the 2000s and is considered by many to be the best Italian Keeper of all time, even above the great Dino Zoff.

Dino Zoff, the 40-year-old captain of the 1982 World Cup-winning Italy team, is missed as one of the most consistent goalkeepers of all time. At 40, he led Italy to victory and was named the best goalkeeper at the 1982 World Cup. Considered by many to be the best Italian goalkeeper for his exceptional agility and reflexes, Dino Zoff made 642 appearances for the club and 112 appearances for Italy.

The 35-year-old is no ordinary goalkeeper, one of the essential scavengers in world football and a vital part of the German football system under Low. Manuel Neuer, captain of the Bayern Munich and German national teams, is a modern goalkeeper; has good footwork and is not afraid to jump out of the line to challenge attackers; many believe he has revolutionised the position with his aggressive style. During Schalke’s tenure, Bayern Munich captain Manuel Neuer has learned to take responsibility for carrying the team on his shoulders, as the Reds have been in the Champions League for the most part. Thanks to the brilliant saves from their young goalkeeper. Especially during the 2014 World Cup, Bayern Munich captain Manuel Neuss showed a new dimension of the goalkeeper role by extending it to almost the entire team’s defensive half.

This man couldn’t have won all the medals, trophies and Spanish world records in 143 goalkeeping games, if not one of the greatest. In 2015, after the goalkeeper made more than 700 appearances for Real and won every possible trophy, Real showed signs of decline and decided to drop Iker Casillas. Iker Casillas was also the best goalkeeper during the most successful period in Spanish history from 2008 to 2012 when La Roja won two European Championships and a World Cup.

Not surprisingly, the last goalkeeper to win the World Cup – Hugo Lloris Manuel Neuer, Iker Casillas, Gianluigi Buffon – has become a world football legend and deservedly so. A great goalkeeper can almost win games on his own, and the best of them tend to be held in high esteem by the clubs they play for. Goalkeepers in football are currently one of a team’s most valuable assets, and it’s no secret that elite goalkeepers are an absolute necessity for World Cup success. High-profile cases like Gianluigi Buffon, Iker Casillas, Neville Southall and Bayern Munich’s Oliver Kahn have fans seeing goalkeepers as eternal miracles. Still, high-profile cases like Gianluigi Buffon’s don’t necessarily reflect broader trends and physical demands. Goalkeepers are more significant than previous generations.