Top 10 Goalkeepers in World Cup 2014

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‘Aloof, solitary, impassive, the crack goalie is followed in the streets by entranced small boys. He vies with the matador and the flying aces, an object of thrilled adulation. He is the lone eagle, the man of mystery, the last defender.’ This is what Vladimir Nabokov, the celebrated Russian author, had to say about the role of a goalkeeper in a football game. The World Cup 2014 in Brazil will feature some of the best ‘last defenders’ in the world and this article presents to you a profile of 10 of the best goalkeepers that you would see in the showpiece event.

10. Hugo Lloris

The French number one has improved massively over the last couple of seasons and an exposure against some of the best attackers in the world in the English Premier League has certainly been one of the reasons. Although Tottenham has not had a good season Lloris has been one of the reasons why they have won some games they could have lost and he has played that role perfectly for the French national team as well. Other than the fact that Lloris is an extremely agile goalkeeper who can pull off incredible saves, he is also blessed with the ability to smell danger early and you would often see him coming off his line in order to make a clearance. Watch out for this excellent goalkeeper who could turn out to be one of the most important components of the French defensive setup.

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9. Julio Cesar

A few years ago Julio Cesar was counted among the elite goalkeepers; however his stock has plummeted following his horror show against the Netherlands in the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. Cesar is now older and wiser, which is why it needs to be stated that even after that game he remains a talented goalie and although his reflexes might not be at its peak he can still bring the sort of stability that is needed in a high profile competition. In addition to that, a manager like Scolari would not have selected him had he not been convinced about his ability to play at the highest level and so it can be said that it is Cesar’s chance to put the record straight in Brazil in 2014.

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8. Joe Hart

After the disastrous performances delivered by Robert Green in the World Cup in 2010, England supporters can at last heave a sigh of relief that in Brazil they would have a top class goalkeeper between the sticks, who has performed magnificently for Manchester City over the past few seasons. Joe hart is an incredibly fit athlete and can pull off astonishing saves that can leave opponents fuming, however he did not have a great 2013-14 season with City that saw him being replaced in the starting line up. However, Hart has clawed his way back into the team with top performances and you can expect him to be at the top of his game during the World Cup.

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7. David Ospina

After a long time Columbia have assemble a team that can goe toe to toe with the very best in business and David Ospina is one of the team members who would certainly make a difference with his skills as a goalkeeper of rare quality. He has already had an excellent season in the French league in which he helped Nice in their efforts to keep as many clean sheets as possible and hopefully he would be able to do the same in the World Cup for Columbia. He is only 24 years old and given his talents it makes him a player whom you would not only watch in 2014 but also in 2018 in Russia.

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6. Thibaut Courtois

A goalkeeper who is blessed with a huge physique and also possesses the athleticism to fly around either way to stop dangerous balls can certainly be regarded as one of the very best in the business, which is why Belgian goalie Thibaut Courtois finds himself on this elite list. Courtois is one of the biggest reasons why Atletico Madrid has had such an outstanding season in Spanish league. In order to get a better idea of his prowess as a goalkeeper have a look at some of the saves he has pulled off for Atletico over the course of the season and needless to say, YouTube would be the best possible resource for such compilations.

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5. Tim Krul

Dutch goalkeeper Tim Krul perhaps belongs to that rare breed of goalkeepers who can singlehandedly keep their team in the game with a series of astonishing saves that can completely deflate the opponents and that is exactly what he did for Newcastle United throughout the 2013-14 season in the English Premier League. Krul has evolved impressively as a goalkeeper over the past two seasons  and although he always had the talent as well as the heart, he has now become far more composed that helps him with his duties as a goalkeeper. He might turn out to be one of the heroes of the World Cup for the Dutch.

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4. Gianluigi Buffon

Juventus and Italian legend Gianluigi Buffon might be on the wrong side of 30 (he is 36) but there is no denying the fact that he is not a player who is playing just for the sake of it and in fact he remains one of the top shot stoppers in the world at the moment. The reflexes, the anticipation and the uncanny ability to read the opponents’ mind is still there that makes him a rock between the posts for Italy; a team that has a proud history of outstanding goalies. Have a look at the incredible save he made for Italy in the 2006 World Cup final to deny Zidane and France the chance of winning the World Cup with the match locked at 1-1.

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3. David de Gea

Manchester United might have had a horrible season but their goalkeeper David de Gea had an outstanding season in the league and in fact was one of the few shining lights for United in an otherwise forgettable season. You might be surprised to find him at number 3 but it cannot be denied that he has evolved into one of the best goalkeepers in the world who can throw his body either way and can also affect excellent saves with his feet when his body is heading in the wrong direction. Spain is truly blessed to have such a goalkeeper as a back up to Cassilas but unfortunately he might not get as many games as he would like.

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2. Iker Cassilas

Real Madrid’s captain fantastic might have been replaced in the league games in the La Liga by Diego Lopez but he has been the man for the jab in the most important knockout games in the Uefa Champions League and the domestic cups. Cassilas might not be as young as the other goalkeepers at the top level but he is still as agile as ever and can still pull off astonishing saves that can leave the opponents stunned. In order to get an idea of his form as a goalie, do watch the highlights of the game between Real Madrid and Bayern Munich at the Bernabau in which Cassilas kept the Bayern attackers at bay with one great save after another.

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1. Manuel Neuer

At number 1 is the German powerhouse of a goalkeeper Manuel Neuer, who hasn’t been anything but brilliant for both club and country over the last 3 seasons. Neuer is a goalie who reminds old timers of former Danish great Peter Schmeichel and much like Schmeichel, Neuer uses his huge frame to make astonishing saves in almost every game. He is unbelievably agile for such a large man and he is any striker’s nightmare in one on one situations. Something else that makes him unique is that he is good at taking penalties as well and in fact scored for Bayern during the shootout against Chelsea in the Champions League final of 2012.

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CONCLUSION.

These are the goalkeepers who are certain to capture your imagination during the World Cup and provide you with a lot of entertainment.

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