The World's Top Goalkeepers (2018)

Top 50

The top 50 is based on current form, for both club and country.

1. Marc ter Stegen, Germany (Barcelona) - 26
2. Keylor Navas, Costa Rica (Real Madrid) - 31
3. Jan Oblak, Slovenia (Atlético Madrid) - 25
4. David de Gea, Spain (Manchester United) - 27
5. Thibaut Courtois, Belgium (Real Madrid) - 26
6. Jasper Cillessen, Netherlands (Barcelona) - 29
7. Gianluigi Buffon, Italy (PSG) - 40
8. Ederson, Brazil (Manchester City) - 25
9. Rui Patrício, Portugal (Wolverhampton) - 30
10. Manuel Neuer, Germany (Bayern Munich) - 32

One to watch: There are a number of great storylines within the top ten. How will de Gea respond to his lackluster World Cup performances? Will Barcelona be able to make Cillessen happy? How will Real Madrid handle both Navas and Courtois? But one goalkeeper that has flown under the radar is Wolves’ Patrício. The gauge of his success for the club will strictly be tried to Wolverhampton’s ability to stay afloat. Coming off an impressive World Cup run, Patrício has the “big save” in his repertoire, as he showed against Morocco and his new club will be expecting more of the same. Wolves currently sit ninth in the table but if their zero goal differential holds up, Patrício will surely be called into action a number of times before the end of the spring.

11. Yann Sommer, Switzerland (Borussia Mönchengladbach) - 29
12. Alisson, Brazil (Liverpool) - 25
13. Kepa Arrizabalaga, Spain (Chelsea) - 23
14. Fernando Pacheco, Spain (Alavés) - 26
15. Salvatore Sirigu, Italy (Torino) - 31
16. Roman Bürki, Switzerland (Borussia Dortmund) - 27
17. Pau López, Spain (Betis) - 23
18. Petr Cech, Czech Republic (Arsenal) - 36
19. Ron-Robert Zieler, Germany (VfB Stuttgart) - 29
20. Sven Ulreich, Germany (Bayern Munich) - 29

One to watch: Arsenal specifically brought in Leno to replace Cech and while the veteran goalkeeper has held off Leno so far, at some point the switch is going to be made. Fans and pundits have been critical of Cech’s questionable passing ability, with plenty of validity to their complaints. Cech is in the final year of his contract but Unai Emery hasn’t given us a clear path moving forward. He’s no stranger to pressure but Cech is playing for his starting spot every week and will likely be hearing about it his backup for the rest of the season. It’s a tough place to be for a goalkeeper who’s trying to squeeze the last bit of top-level goalkeeping out of his career.

21. Bernd Leno, Germany (Arsenal) - 26
22. Etrit Berisha, Albania (Atalanta) - 29
23. Lukasz Fabianski, Poland (West Ham United) - 33
24. Hugo Lloris, France (Tottenham Hotspur) - 31
25. Samir Handanovic, Slovenia (Inter) - 34
26. Lukas Hradecky, Finland (Bayer Leverkusen) - 28
27. Thomas Strakosha, Albania (Lazio) - 23
28. Igor Akinfeev, Russia (CSKA Moscow) - 32
29. Kasper Schmeichel, Denmark (Leicester City) - 31
30. Marwin Hitz, Switzerland (Dortmund) - 31

One to watch: Albania isn’t typically known for their elite goalkeeping but Berisha and Strakosha have done well to put their homeland on the map for Serie A fans. After seeing a new level of transfer fees for goalkeepers this summer, Strakosha is surely one of the next few to have his name tied to an eight-figure transfer fee. The twenty-three-year-old is everything coaches want in a goalkeeper. His impressive frame and ability to cover the goalmouth will catch anyone’s eye but his mobility is unique for goalkeepers of his stature. Whether it’s going post-to-post, getting up or down, or closing space on a 1v1, Strakosha has the wheels to cover the ground.

31. Martin Dubravka, Slovakia (Newcastle United) - 29
32. Fernando Muslera, Uruguay (Galatasaray) - 32
33. David Ospina, Colombia (Napoli) - 30
34. Adrián, Spain (West Ham United) - 31
35. Anthony Lopes, Portugal (Lyon) - 27
36. Alphonse Areola, France (PSG) - 25
37. Jiri Pavlenka, Czech Republic (Werder Bremen) - 26
38. Ralf Fährmann, Germany (FC Schalke 04) - 29
39. Bono, Morocco (Girona) - 27
40. Marco Sportiello, Italy (Frosinone) - 26

One to watch: Alphonse Areola is best known for his reaction saves, which there are many, but as Areola encountered recently against Liverpool, top-level goalkeeping requires another layer of perfection. Whether it’s utilizing efficient lateral movement or handling a cleat to the midsection, Areola has his work cut out for him to keep Buffon on the bench. If Areola can find more consistency in uncomfortable situations, he may not only tie down his starting spot with PSG but also with the French national team.

41. Kevin Trapp, Germany (Eintracht Frankfurt) - 27
42. Asmir Begovic, Bosnia and Herzegovina (Bournemouth) - 31
43. Wojciech Szczesny, Poland (Juventus) - 28
44. Orestis Karnezis, Greece (Napoli) - 33
45. Mattia Perin, Italy (Juventus) - 25
46. Jordan Pickford, England (Everton) - 24
47. Antonio Adán, Spain (Atletico Madrid) - 31
48. Fabri, Spain (Fulham) - 30
49. Pepe Reina, Spain (AC Milan) - 36
50. Tomas Vaclik, Czech Republic (Sevilla FC) - 29

One to watch: Similar to Petr Cech, Wojciech Szczesny has a younger goalkeeper quietly waiting in the wings behind him. Perin is a bit wild in goal but Szczesny isn’t exactly known for steadiness either, struggling to handle 1v1s in past seasons. It’ll be a tightly contested goalkeeping battle that could see multiple changes throughout the course of the season. Szczesny will need to keep errors to a minimum and have a positive Champions League run to in order to keep his starting spot.

Top 20 Under 24

The top 20 under 24 is based off a prediction of who will be the top goalkeepers by the time of the 2022 World Cup for goalkeepers currently under 24 years of age.

1. Kepa Arrizabalaga, Spain (Chelsea) - 23
2. Pau López, Spain (Betis) - 23
3. Thomas Strakosha, Albania (Lazio) - 23
4. Alban Lafont, France (Fiorentina) - 19
5. Gianluigi Donnarumma, Italy (AC Milan) - 19
6. Fabian Bredlow, Germany (1. FC Nürnberg) - 23
7. Mike Maignan, France (Lille) - 23
8. André Onana, Cameroon (Ajax) - 22
9. Simone Scuffet, Italy (Udinese) - 22
10. Emil Audero, Italy (Sampdoria) - 21

One to watch: It’s not often a twenty-three-year-old simply hops into the starting spot of a Champions League team but that’s the level Kepa brings to the table. Similar to de Gea’s arrival with Manchester United, Kepa is surely going to be reamed for his lack of aerial prowess. He’s already looked a little shaken on a couple of balls into the six-yard box a few weeks into the season. There’s a lot of pressure for Kepa to prove his worth after what Chelsea went through to bring him in, with something as little as Kepa’s fluency in English likely to become a talking point in magazines. Kepa may have some glaring errors this year but de Gea has displayed a good blueprint on how to adjust to tough crosses. If Kepa can impress fans in other parts of the game, they may be more forgiving in his first season. If not, Chelsea could be looking for a quick fix to fix the situation.

11. Dominik Livakovic, Croatia (Dinamo Zagreb) - 23
12. Marvin Schwäbe, Germany (Brondby IF) - 23
13. Boris Radunović, Serbia (Cremonese) - 22
14. Mouez Hassen, Tunisia (Nice) - 23
15. Runar Alex Runarsson, Iceland (Dijon) - 23
16. Rubén Blanco, Spain (Celta) - 23
17. Alex Meret, Italy (Napoli) - 21
18. Denis Shcherbitski, Belarus (BATE Borisov) - 22
19. Adrian Semper, Croatia (Chievo Verona) - 20
20. Mile Svilar, Belgium (Benfica) - 19

One to watch: Some may have missed Hassen’s World Cup performance as the Tunisian goalkeeper injured his shoulder just eleven minutes into the first match, prematurely ending his tournament run. Despite the shortened performance, Hassen managed to make two goal-denying saves and would have surely had the save of the tournament had a rebound not found its way back in goal. For American readers, Hassen has a number of similarities to Nick Rimando. Both undersized, they implement a scrambling style to get from point A to point B. A little erratic, both live and die by their mobility and have the ability to produce jaw-dropping saves.

Cover photo belongs to Omni Sport