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Top 10 World Cup Goalkeepers of All Time

Updated on March 10, 2017
Buffon with the World Cup Trophy
Buffon with the World Cup Trophy | Source

Have you ever wondered who was the best goalkeeper to play in the World Cup. Well you are at the right place. I have been following the World Cup ever since I was a little kid. Football is my favorite sport, and actually when I was a little kid, I loved to play as a goalkeeper. I used to think, that every time I played I was Peter Schmeichel, or Oliver Kahn. I made up a list of the top goal keepers that played at the World Cup stage of all time.

World Cup Trophy
World Cup Trophy | Source

This coming up summer it will be the 20th World Cup tournament. It will be hosted in Brazil. The top 32 countries in the world have fought hard to secure a spot in the World Cup. There are tons of super stars to play this summer. But don't forget every World Cup, there are new talents that show up during the World Cup. I am expecting to see some new super stars to play in this World Cup. Here is the list of the top 10 goalkeepers to play in the World Cup ever.

Goalkeeping Statistics at the World Cup

I have gathered some of the most interesting facts and stats at the World Cup ever.

  • Most Clean Sheets: Peter Shilton (England) 10 matches
  • Most minutes without conceding a goal: Walter Zenga (Italy) 571 minutes
  • Most conceded goals :Antonia Carbajal (Mexico) 25 goals allowed
  • Most goals conceded in a game: Luis Mora (El Salvador) 10 goals
  • Fewest goals conceded in one tournament: Fabien Bartez (France) 2, Iker Casillas(Spain) 2, Gianluigi Buffon (Italy) 2

Iker Casillas with Spain
Iker Casillas with Spain | Source

Number 10: Iker Casillas (Spain)

Name: Iker Casillas Fernandez


Team: Real Madrid(Spain)

Career: Real Madrid 1998- Present

Games Played: Real Madrid (547 games) , Spain National Team(152 Games)

Iker Casillas, one of the best Spanish goalkeeprs of all time. I am pretty sure that if you are a football fanatic, you know who he is. He has had a sensational career, and is still going strong, no matter that he is 32 years old. He played all his career for the Spanish side Real Madrid. He has won the World Cup once with Spain in 2010. He also won the Euro Cup in 2012. Iker won the European Champions League with Real Madrid twice and the Spanish La Liga for a total of 5 times. He is considered to be the best goalkeepers in the history of Spanish goalkeepers, despite that the country has a great list of goalkeepers.

Dino Zoff with Italy
Dino Zoff with Italy | Source

Number 9: Dino Zoff (Italy)

Name: Dino Zoff

Age: 71

Teams: Retired

Career: Udinese, Mantova, Napoli, Juventus.

Games Played: Team Career a total of 642 games, Italy National Team: (112 games)

Dino Zoff, also considered to be one of the best goalkeepers in the 20th century according to IFFHS. He was well known for his outstanding ability and his leadership as a team player. He won the World Cup once with Italy in 1982, and the Euro Cup in 1968. He also won the Italian Serie A six times with Juventus. After he retired as a footballer he became a coach for the Italian national team as well some Italian clubs.

Rene Higuita
Rene Higuita | Source

Number 8: Rene Higuita (Colombia)

Name: Jose Rene Higuita Zapata

Age: 47

Teams: Retired

Career: Played a career with a total of 13 different clubs in Spain and South America.

Games Played: Club Career (380 games) Scored 41 goals, Colombian National Team: 68 teams with a total of 3 goals.

One of the most eccentric players to ever play in the World Cup. Rene Higuita was well known for his acrobatic abilities, and movements. He is famously known for his scorpion kick save in a game against England in 1995. I guaranteed that every football fan have seen the video of his acrobatic save. He is the 4th highest goalscoring goalkeeper of all time. He never won the World Cup. He is the reason and the influence that in 1990 FIFA added a new rule, that a goalkeeper can't touch the ball with his hands if a teammate passes the ball back to him, he influenced that with his playing style.

Rene Huigita Scorpion Kick( Must See Save)

Chilavert | Source

Number 7: Jose Luis Chilavert (Paraguay)

Name: Jose Luis Feliz Chilavert Gonzalez

Age: 48

Teams: Retired

Career: Played his club career with 8 teams from Brazil,France, Spain, and Paraguay.

Games Played: Club Career(617 games) 46 goal, Paraguay National Team (74) 8 goals scored.

One of the most important and best players to ever play for the Paraguay National Team. He became the first goalkeeper to score a hat-trick in the history of football in one game. He is well known for his free kick and penalty kick ability. He scored for a total of 60 penalties in his career.

Taffarel with Brazil
Taffarel with Brazil | Source

Number 6: Claudio Taffarel (Brazil

Name: Claudio Andre Mergen Taffarel

Age: 47

Teams: Retired

Career: Internacional, Parma, Reggiana, Atletico Mineiro, Galatasaray, and Empoli.

Games Played: Club Career (690 games), Brazul National Team (104 games)

Claudio Taffarel, one of the greatest Brazilian Goalkeepers of all time. Taffarel won the Golden Ball in 1988. Hep play for Brazil in two World Cups in 1994 winning the gold medals, and also in 1998 losing in the final against France. Taffarel had a great career playing in Italy as well as Turkish giant Galatasaray. Some of his career accomplishments are winning Copa America 2 times, Italian Serie A champion 3 times, UEFA Cup( now known as Europa League) once. He is known for his great goalkeeping ability in the 1994 World Cup when Brazil won the World Cup in a great final match against Italy won by Brazil in penalty kicks.

Van Der Sar with Holland
Van Der Sar with Holland | Source

Number 5: Edwin van der Sar (Netherlands)

Name: Edwin van der Sar

Age: 43

Teams: Retired

Career: Ajax, Juventus, Fulham, Manchester United

Games Played: Club Career (605) Dutch National Team(130)

The greatest Dutch goalkeeper of all time. Van der Sar is known for his great leadership, and is considered to be one of the greatest goalkeepers of all time. He played the most of his career games in the dutch football giant Ajax, and also the Red Devils of Manchester United. He played for the dutch in 3 World Cups, and three Euro Cups. He never won either tournament , but came close a few times. He is still considered to be a great goalkeeper that changed and inspired so many young people to pursue being a goalkeeper despite being the hardest position to play in the game of football.

Gigi Buffon with Italy
Gigi Buffon with Italy | Source

Number 4: Gianluigi Buffon (Italy)

Name: Gianluigi Buffon


Teams: Parma, Juventus 2001- Present

Games Played: Club Career (547), Italy National Team(138)

One of the most successful Italian goalkeepers of all time. Everyone knows him as Gigi Buffon. He is considered to be also part of the top 11 players on the 20th century. He won the Italian goalkeeper of the year for a record of 8 times, no other player has ever done that. Some of his achievements include wining the UEFA Cup once, Serie A four times, World Cup with Italy once and a second place in the Euro Cup in 2012.

Fabien Barthez
Fabien Barthez

Number 3: Fabien Barthez (France)

Name: Fabien Barthez

Age: 42

Teams: Played for four French Teams, and English side Manchester United.

Games Played: Club Career(455), French National Team: 87 games

Goalkeeper with a historic performance in the World Cup. He reached the final of the World Cup twice, he won it once in 1998, and finished second in 2006. He also was a part of the French National team that won the Euro Cup in 2000. He is tied with Peter Shilton for the most clean sheets in the World Cup with 10 games. Some of his other career honors include the Champions League in 1993, French League two times, as well as the English Premier League twice. Barthez also won the best goalkeeper in the world twice in 1998, 2000.

Schmeichel with Denmark
Schmeichel with Denmark | Source

Number 2: Peter Schmeichel (Denmark)

Name: Petetr Boleslaw Scmeichel

Age: 50

Team: Retired, Played for most notable teams like Manchester United, Sporting Lisbon, Aston Villa, and Manchester City.

Games Played: Club career (648) and also scored 9 goals, Denmark National Team (129).

Voted one of the best goalkeepers that ever played at his position. Peter has played for Denmark for 14 years. He won the Euro Cup with Denmark in 1992. His most notable playing time was when he played for Manchester United he played for 294 games. He hold the record for the best clean sheet to game ration in the Premier League, where 42% of the time he kept his net dry. He has won the Danish First Division 3 times, English Premier League 5 times, He also won the Champions League once. He is voted in the top ten goalkeepers that played in the 20th century.

Oliver Kahn with Germany
Oliver Kahn with Germany | Source

Number 1: Oliver Kahn (Germany)

Name: Oliver Kahn

Age: 44

Team: Retired, Played for Karlsruher, and Bayern Munich.

Games Played: Club Career (630), German National Team( 86)

Despite him never winning the World Cup with Germany, he is voted to be the best qoalkeeper to play for Germany. If you have ever watched him play, I believe that he has performed the best out of any other goalkeeper in the World. He has played for the Germany National Team for 12 years. He finished second in the 2002 World Cup and third in the 2006 World Cup. He won the German Bundesliga 8 times with Bayern Munich, Also he won the UEFA Cup once and the Champions League once. One of the best goal keepers to ever play in the World Cup.

Some Other Notable Goalkeepers

Here is some other very good goalkeepers that played in the World Cup:

Bodo Ilgner, Lev Yashin, Andonni Zubizareta, Peter Shilton,Jan Tomaszewski, Harald Schumacher, Petr Cech, Angelo Peruzzi, Sepp Maier, Jorge Campos, Borislav Michailov, and others.


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    • profile image

      v.todorov 3 years ago




    • profile image

      Samar Khan 3 years ago

      Casillas and Buffon should be no 1st and 2nd position .

    • profile image

      steve hudson 3 years ago

      Iker Casillas is the best goalkeeper of all time and the legand of spanish football history . But stupid portugees man Morinho regularly try to destroy his legandary career

    • profile image

      watson 3 years ago

      Iker casillas and Buffon are the best goalkeeper and legands of spanish italian football

    • pmarinov profile image

      Blogger at Best 3 years ago from Detroit MI

      I know isn't it? I have probably watched it million times. Great keepers

    • nuffsaidstan profile image

      nuffsaidstan 3 years ago

      Huigitas scorpion kick is brilliant.

    • pmarinov profile image

      Blogger at Best 3 years ago from Detroit MI

      I love Rogerio Ceni, he is a legend in Brazil and Sao Paulo. Brazil has always had great goalkeepers, and that was the cause of him not playing much for the national team. However we will always go down in history as one of the best goalkeepers of our time.

    • muzzster profile image

      Muzzammil Maniar 3 years ago from Karachi, Pakistan

      Nice list pmarinov! Rogerio Ceni is another name that comes to mind, the goalkeeper with the most goals but his international appearances were fairly limited which justifies your decision not to rank him. Voted as useful!

    • Seckin Esen profile image

      Seckin Esen 3 years ago from Ankara, Turkey

      My favorite one is Claudio Taffarel. As I'm a Galatasaray fan, I watched him in matches many times, he is awesome. He is now working for Galatasaray as a goalkeeper trainer and is training Fernando Muslera, who has the potential to be one of the best goalkeepers in the near future. Great hub!