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Ben Hayward

Best goalkeepers of the 2010s

Germany's Manuel Neuer and Italy's Gianluigi Buffon ahead of the penalty shootout between their teams in the quarter-finals of Euro 2016.

The goalkeeping role saw significant changes in the 2010s, with sweeper-keepers an integral part of the most progressive teams.

Through the 2010s and particularly later in the decade, goalkeepers were not just expected to save shots, but to be adept and comfortable with their feet.

In some sides during that era, the goalkeepers would be responsible for distributing the ball and initiating attacks from deep.

Meanwhile, others remained as more traditional shot-stoppers. Here, a look at the very best goalkeepers in the world in the 2010s...

32. Mike Maignan

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Mike Maignan would go on to become one of the best goalkeepers in the world at AC Milan in the early 2020s and a starter for France following the retirement of Hugo Lloris.

Maignan made his debut for Lille in 2015 and went on to make 180 appearances for the Ligue 1 side, winning the title in his final season before signing for Milan in 2021. Named Ligue 1 goalkeeper of the year in 2018/19, he made his France debut in 2020.

31. Justo Villar

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Justo Villar won 120 international caps for Paraguay in a long international career which stretched almost 20 years – between 1999 and 2018.

Villar conceded just twice as Paraguay reached the last 16 at the 2010 World Cup – against Italy and Spain – and saved a Xabi Alonso penalty against the eventual champions. He also saved a penalty as Paraguay knocked out Brazil at the 2011 Copa America and was named best goalkeeper in the tournament as the Albirrojita lost to Uruguay in the final.

30. Fernando Muslera

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Fernando Muslera appeared in the 2010, 2014 and 2018 World Cups for Uruguay and has won well over 100 caps for the South American nation.

A Copa America winner in 2011, he saved a penalty from Carlos Tevez as Uruguay beat Argentina in a shootout in the quarter-finals. At club level, he has won an array of silverware in over a decade at Galatasaray.

29. Jasper Cillessen

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A three-time Dutch champion at Ajax in the 2010s, Jasper Cillessen spent several seasons at Barcelona as back-up to Marc-Andre ter Stegen.

First-choice goalkeeper at the 2014 World Cup, he helped the Netherlands to a third-place finish in Brazil, although he was replaced by Tim Krul for the penalty shootout against Costa Rica. He was also in goal for the Dutch side which lost the Nations League final to Portugal in 2019.

28. Vincent Enyeama

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At 1.80 m (5 ft 11 in), Vincent Enyeama was not tall for a goalkeeper, but he is considered one of the best in the history of African football.

Enyeama helped Nigeria win the Africa Cup of Nations in 2013 and was named in the team of the tournament. He was also named in the IFFHS African team of the decade for 2011 to 2020 and won 101 caps in total for the Super Eagles.

27. Danijel Subasic

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Danijel Subasic won 44 caps for Croatia between 2008 and 2018 and helped his nation to their greatest achievement as they finished runners-up in the 2018 World Cup to France.

Subasic saved three penalties as Croatia beat Denmark in a shootout in the last 16 and another against Russia in the quarter-finals to become only the third goalkeeper in World Cup history to make four or more saves in World Cup penalty shootouts. His performances in Russia earned praise from legendary German goalkeeper Oliver Kahn.

26. Sergio Romero

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Sergio Romero was Argentina's goalkeeper for a series of near misses in the 2010s as the Albiceleste lost three international finals between 2014 and 2016.

In the 2014 World Cup, he was Man of the Match against the Netherlands in the semi-final, saving two penalties in the shootout. He won 96 caps in total between 2008 and 2018.

25. David Ospina

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David Ospina was the youngest goalkeeper ever to appear for Colombia when he made his international debut in 2007 and went on to become the nation's most-capped player.

With well over 100 caps for Colombia, Ospina is considered one of the greatest goalkeepers in his nation's history and featured in the 2014 and 2018 World Cups. At club level, he played for Nice, Arsenal and Napoli in the 2010s.

24. Wojciech Szczesny

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Wojciech Szczesny won two FA Cups as an Arsenal player and a string of titles at Juventus later in the 2010s.

Tall and athletic, with good reflexes, Szczesny made his Poland debut in 2009 and won over 40 of his caps in the 2010s. In 2022, he made his 66th international appearance to become the most-capped goalkeeper in Poland's history.

23. Jordan Pickford

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Jordan Pickford made his England debut in 2017 and was between the sticks for the Three Lions as Gareth Southgate's side reached the World Cup semi-finals in 2018.

He retained his place as England came third in the UEFA Nations League the following year and was in goal as the Three Lions lost to Italy in the final of Euro 2020. He was named Everton's player of the season in 2018 and 2022.

22. Guillermo Ochoa

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It wouldn't be the World Cup without Guillermo Ochoa in goal for Mexico, with his trademark curls, making world-class saves.

Ocho's club career has not quite matched his international exploits. A five-time CONCACAF Gold Cup winner with Mexico (three of those in the 2010s), he has won well over 100 caps since making his debut with El Tri in 2005. At club level, he has won trophies at America in Mexico and a Belgian Cup at Standard Liege.

21. Tim Howard

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Tim Howard won 121 caps for the United States men's national team in a 15-year international career between 2002 and 2017.

A three-time CONCACAF goalkeeper of the year in the 2010s, Howard was physically strong and commanding. He won the Gold Cup in 2007 and 2017 and made over 400 appearances for Everton between 2006 and 2014.

20. Joe Hart

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Joe Hart won 75 England caps between 2008 and 2017, with all but the first of those coming in the 2010s.

One of the best in the world at his peak, Hart won two Premier League titles at Manchester City early in the decade, but left the club as manager Pep Guardiola opted for goalkeepers who were more comfortable with their feet.

19. Claudio Bravo

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Claudio Bravo was the first player in Chile's history to win 100 caps and played a big role in the nation's maiden international trophy as he kept a clean sheet against Argentina in the 2015 Copa America final and saved a penalty in the shootout.

A year later, he was in goal as Chile won the Copa America Centenario, saving another penalty as La Roja beat Argentina again in a shootout. At club level, he won trophies at Barcelona and Manchester City.

18. Gianluigi Donnarumma

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Gianluigi Donnarumma became the youngest goalkeeper ever to play for Italy when he made his international debut at 17 years and 189 days of age in 2016.

Seen as the heir to Gianluigi Buffon, he became first choice following the legend's international retirement in 2018. Physically strong and technically gifted, Donnarumma was persistently linked with the world's best clubs and eventually left AC Milan for Paris Saint-Germain in 2021. He was part of Italy's winning team at Euro 2020.

17. Julio Cesar

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For a period towards the end of the 2000s and in the early 2010s, Julio Cesar was one of the best goalkeepers in the world.

The Brazilian helped Inter win a treble and was named Serie A goalkeeper of the year in 2010. He won 87 caps for Brazil up until 2014 and was the Golden Glove recipient as the South Americans won the Confederations Cup in 2013.

16. Rui Patricio

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Rui Patricio made his Portugal debut in 2010 and has won over 100 caps since as the nation's first-choice goalkeeper.

The former Sporting CP and Wolves goalkeeper impressed as Portugal won Euro 2016, when he was named in the team of the tournament, and also helped his country take home the UEFA Nations League trophy in 2019.

15. Ederson

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After trying out a number of other goalkeepers with limited success early on in his tenure at Manchester City, Pep Guardiola found the perfect player for his style of play.

Ederson is an agile and commanding goalkeeper with good reflexes, but what really stands out is the Brazilian's passing ability and distribution. The Brazilian international has been described as the best in the world with his feet and has been central to City's success under Guardiola.

14. Kasper Schmeichel

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Kasper Schmeichel's father Peter is one of the greatest goalkeepers of all time and that left the younger man with a lot to live up to – but he has gone on to be very successful in his own right.

After a difficult start to his career which saw him play for a number of lower-league clubs, Schmeichel settled at Leicester and spent 11 years at the club. A consistent performer in that time, the Dane helped the Foxes win the Premier League in 2015/16 and the FA Cup in 2021. He also saved three penalties – one in extra time and two in a shootout – against Croatia in the teams' World Cup last-16 tie, but Denmark still lost.

13. Hugo Lloris

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Hugo Lloris was France's goalkeeper throughout the 2010s, winning 145 caps between 2008 and 2022.

Known for his lightning reflexes, his anticipation and his speed in coming off his line, Lloris was one of the world's best through the 2010s. He captained Les Bleus in their World Cup win in 2018 and made 447 appearances for Tottenham in over 11 years in north London.

12. Alisson Becker

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Alisson Becker's arrival at Liverpool in 2019 was an absolute game-changer for the Reds. The Brazilian brought stability in goal and at the end of his first season, Jurgen Klopp's side had won the Champions League.

An excellent shot-stopper, Alisson is impressive in one-on-one situations and is strong with his feet. The Brazilian, an international since 2015 and a Copa America winner in 2019, is one of the most complete goalkeepers of his generation. He was named world's best goalkeeper by IFFHS in 2019.

11. Victor Valdes

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Victor Valdes won 20 caps for Spain between 2010 and 2014 and was part of the squad that won the World Cup in 2010 and again at Euro 2012.

Though never first choice for La Roja, Valdes was immense for Barcelona up until his exit in 2014. Comfortable with his feet, the Catalan was in the team for a series of triumphs in Pep Guardiola's great side. After a brief and unsuccessful spell at Manchester United, he went on to play for Standard Liege and Mddlesbrough before retiring in 2018.

10. Keylor Navas

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Keylor Navas was in goal for Real Madrid through their three consecutive Champions League wins under Zinedine Zidane between 2016 and 2018.

The Costa Rican had the knack of producing big saves in key moments. He was named best goalkeeper in the 2016 Champions League and was nominated for the Golden Glove at the 2014 World Cup as he helped his nation reach the last eight, saving a penalty from Greece's Theofanis Gekas in the shootout in a Man of the Match display.

9. Samir Handanovic

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Samir Handanovic retired in 2023 after 12 seasons at Inter, where he was a commanding presence and one of the best players at the club across his 455 appearances.

Serie A goalkeeper of the year in 2018/19, Handanovic was named Slovenian Footballer of the Year on three occasions and won 81 caps for his country between 2004 and 2015.

8. Petr Cech

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Petr Cech's best years came in the 2000s, but the Czech goalkeeper remained one of the best through the next decade at Chelsea and later at Arsenal.

Named third-best goalkeeper in the world on three occasions in the early 2010s, Cech was a Champions League winner with Chelsea in 2012, saving a penalty from Arjen Robben and then two in the shootout as the Blues beat Bayern Munich. He later spent four seasons at Arsenal and won 124 caps for his country.

7. David de Gea

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Few goalkeepers were kept busier during the 2010s than David de Gea at Manchester United.

The Spaniard spent 12 years at Old Trafford in total and made 545 appearances for the club. He was named United's Sir Matt Busby Player of the Year on four occasions and was often a shining light in difficult times for the club. He also won 45 caps for Spain.

6. Thibaut Courtois

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Thibaut Courtois' brilliant best probably arrived a little later at Real Madrid, but the Belgian was also an outstanding goalkeeper in the 2010s.

Courtois won two Premier League titles at Chelsea and also spent three seasons on loan at Atletico Madrid, where he was key in a successful period for Diego Simeone's side. Following his heroic displays for Belgium at the 2018 World Cup and particularly in the quarter-final against Brazil, he was named best goalkeeper that year by IFFHS.

5. Marc-Andre ter Stegen

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For a time in the late 2010s, Barcelona became reliant upon Lionel Messi at one end of the pitch and Marc-Andre ter Stegen at the other.

A superb shot-stopper and an elite distributor, the German is a modern-day goalkeeper and one of Barça's best ever. At international level, he has been unfortunate to have been behind the great Manuel Neuer for most of his career.

4. Iker Casillas

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Iker Casillas was the world's best goalkeeper at the start of the 2010s and his save from the Netherlands' Arjen Robben in the 2010 World Cup final paved the way for La Roja to win the trophy for the first time.

"San Iker" helped Spain win Euro 2012 two years later and was named world's best goalkeeper in 2010, 2011 and 2012 by IFFHS. He also won the Champions League with Real Madrid in 2014, but left the club under a cloud the following year and lost his Spain place in 2016. One of the best goalkeepers ever, he retired in 2020 after time out following a heart attack.

3. Jan Oblak

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Eyebrows were raised when Atletico Madrid paid €16 million to sign Jan Oblak from Benfica in 2014, but the Slovenian goalkeeper soon became a fan favourite with the Rojiblancos.

While Atleti's defence declined, he regularly produced stunning saves and in 2020 became the fastest goalkeeper in La Liga history to rack up 100 clean sheets. A Champions League finalist in 2016, he helped Atleti win the Europa League and UEFA Super Cup in 2018, plus La Liga in 2021.

2. Gianluigi Buffon

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Gianluigi Buffon made his debut for Parma in 1995 but was still an elite goalkeeper for Juventus and Italy throughout the 2010s, producing stunning saves year after year for club and country.

Buffon won 176 caps for Italy in an international career which extended until 2018 and was a Champions League finalist twice with Juve in 2015 and 2017. He spent a season at Paris Saint-Germain in 2018/19 but returned to Juventus the following year and retired in 2023 after another spell at Parma.

1. Manuel Neuer

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Manuel Neuer combines the attributes of a commanding goalkeeper of old with the skills of a modern-day sweeper-keeper.

Key to Germany's high defensive line in their 2014 World Cup triumph, Neuer won a string of honours at Bayern Munich in the 2010s – including treble triumphs in 2013 and 2020. Named world's best goalkeeper by IFFHS in 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2020, he is one of the greatest of all time.

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