15 Best Soccer Goalkeepers of All Time

Quality goalkeeping in soccer can make all the difference in the world. Teams are always looking to make sure that they have one of the best to count on every single time they step on the pitch. Although an entire defense will make stops, goalkeepers are always the last line of defense. Here are the 15 best soccer goalkeepers to ever do it.


15. Keylor Navas

Average Conceded Goals Per Game: 0.98

Starting with Real Madrid, Keylor Navas never really found a way to get into the rotation. Paris St. Germain picked him up, and he has not really looked back since. The native of Costa Rica is now a mid 30s goalkeeper who still has outstanding reflexes and stars on the biggest stages.


14. David de Gea

Average Conceded Goals Per Game: 1.09

He has had a very productive career to this point, but it never seems to be enough in the eyes of some fans. That is part of the problem when playing for Manchester United and Spain at the national level. He has been a big part of some huge wins, even if he has some disappointing moments along the way


13. Oliver Kahn

Average Conceded Goals Per Game: 1.01

German soccer fans will always remember the play and consistency of Oliver Kahn. He played 780 club matches at the senior level, and picked up 86 caps for Germany during his career as well.

The hardware he accumulated is stunning, as it includes numerous league titles and domestic cups. Oh, and also a World Cup while also winning the Golden Ball in 2002. The Titan dictated play in many ways for his squads, but he always led by example. Putting in a full effort every match was expected when suiting up on the same side as him.


12. Hugo Lloris

Average Conceded Goals Per Game: 1.07

It has been a very productive career for Hugo Lloris up to this point. He has been a star for a while, especially for Tottenham Hotspur. He is a big reason why they have been able to compete at the higher stage for quite a while, and with his contract coming up, it will be interesting to see if they keep him around as well.

If he goes to another team, there is no reason to think that he does not have five more years of solid play in the net. Maybe he will not be the best at the world level by the end of a new contract, but chances are, he will be in very high demand.


11. Alisson

Average Conceded Goals Per Game: 0.93

Since arriving in Liverpool, the team has been playing at a very high level. A lot of that goes to what Allison has provided as a goalkeeper and a leader.

He has had a few injuries along the way, but he has shown that he can be a very dependable player when he is on the pitch. He is one of the best goalkeepers Brazil has ever seen, and still has quite a few years left in him to play at a high level.


10. David Seaman

Average Conceded Goals Per Game: 0.93

Peter Shelton has more caps as a goalkeeper for England, but David Seaman had plenty of success in his own right. Whether he was starting for the English national team or acting as a stand-out for Arsenal, many people in England consider him one of the country’s greatest goalkeepers.

He was a very tall and lanky goalkeeper who had some of the best reflexes in the game. He never seemed to be in the wrong position, and Arsenal stayed in a lot of matches that they had no business competing in with him in goal.


9. Victor Valdes

Average Conceded Goals Per Game: 0.86

Barcelona has had some quality goalkeepers throughout the years, and Victor Valdes is right up there with any of them. One of the greatest to come from Spain, he dominated for more than a decade with the club.

He is a little down on this list because he was not as consistent as some of the others. When he was on though, no one could find an easy way to find the back of the net.


8. Jan Oblak

Average Conceded Goals Per Game: 0.78

More than a few people believe that this is the best goalkeeper in the world right now. Whether he is playing for Atletico Madrid or Slovenia, he is a very patient goalkeeper who has excellent decision-making. He feels like he can read just about any play, and he waits until the last minute to make a move. This drives many teams nuts, as they can’t seem to figure out what he is capable of doing.

How high can he move up on a list like this? Since most goalkeepers really do not reach their prime until they are in their 30s, the sky’s the limit for Oblak. Teams will be vying for his services, even if Atletico Madrid seems to have every reason in the world to pay him huge money.


7. Manuel Neuer

Average Conceded Goals Per Game: 0.83

To be the main goalkeeper for one of the best club teams in the world, Manuel Neuer needs to be very steady. He is always playing pretty aggressively, but even now in his mid-30s, he has shown that he can defend with the best of them.

He is still adding to his legacy, but he is firmly in the top 15 list even if he stepped away from the game today. That is some pretty high praise, considering how long the lineage of great goalkeepers is.


6. Petr Cech

Average Conceded Goals Per Game: 0.89

His consistency as a goalkeeper allows him to play in a major league for a very long time. He also dictates how an entire defense was operating, which allowed him to be a great teammate to have.

His biggest contributions came with Chelsea, but he was also a study player for the Czech Republic and made them a competitor on the international level despite not being as talented as any other European clubs. A lot of people remember him as the player with a helmet on, but he was so much more than that.


5. Edwin Van Der Sar

Average Conceded Goals Per Game: 0.88

The career of the goalkeeper started in his home country, playing for Ajax through the 1990s, and then took him to Juventus, Fulham, and Manchester United. In total, he played over 600 matches in his senior career, and added another 130 with the Netherlands.

All of that success as a team player led to 26 major trophies, and those teams were always competitive because of his consistent play in the net. He was a starter in his prime, and was still consistent enough to be one of the oldest players in the Premier League while still playing at a high level for Manchester United.


4. Peter Schmeicel

Average Conceded Goals Per Game: 0.93

In the 1990s, Peter Schmeicel was the dominant goalie for Manchester United. He helped them reach considerable success, and found a way to score a few goals along the way. People believe that he is one of the strongest competitors ever, and he was not afraid to get on teammates who were not nearly as competitive as him.

He never had a truly remarkable moment in his international career, but that has a lot to do with playing on a Denmark team that was overmatched most of the time.


3. Lev Yashin

Average Conceded Goals Per Game: 0.97

Playing in the 1950s and 1960s, for the most part, Lev Yashin found ways to make stops in various ways. He was one of the best goalkeepers ever to play the game, and many were surprised that he had so much success throughout his career.

As a goalkeeper, he was certainly ahead of his time. He had some of the best athleticism out there, and he took pride in positioning as well. His acrobatics made plenty of highlights, and he showed that he could revolutionize the game by anchoring a defense in new ways. He is a historic figure, but also one of the best ever to man the goal. Players to this day still watch how he played and take notes.


2. Casillas

Average Conceded Goals Per Game: 0.98

When Iker Casillas finally retired from the game, fans immediately remembered him as one of the greatest goalkeepers ever to play the game. He had outstanding athleticism in his prime, and some of the best shot-stopping skills when a team needed it most.

Whether he is playing for Real Madrid or Spain, he always seemed to find a way to come up with creative stops that helped push his team to another level. He was able to win at every level, and no one will forget him anytime soon.


1. Buffon

Average Conceded Goals Per Game: 0.83

Over the years, no one has been more productive as a goalkeeper than Buffon. He has had a long, successful career playing club soccer, mostly in Italy, and the Italian has starred for the national team as well. He has great instincts and some of the best speed a goalkeeper can have in the game.

As a guy who is not afraid to leave his line and make a play, it seems like he is always going the extra mile. It is astonishing not to see him play at the highest levels, even if he is now well into his 40s. When he is on the pitch, teams still fear him and try to gameplan around what he can accomplish.

Connor Smith

I'm Connor, the guy behind SoccerPrime. I'm a former NCAA Div 1 college player that retired at the age of 21 due to injuries - which led me into a new career as a soccer coach.

Recent Posts