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Five keepers who have impressed at the World Cup

Germany's Manuel Neuer has impressed at the World Cup with his team reaching the semi-finals

Germany’s Manuel Neuer has impressed at the World Cup with his team reaching the semi-finals

This summer’s World Cup has been full of goals and drama, but the men charged with stopping the goals should be given credit for their outstanding efforts too.

There have been a few keepers who have shone in Brazil. Here are five of my favourites (in no particular order).

Manuel Neuer (Germany)

Ever since he broke into the Germany national team, Neuer has been regarded as a keeper with immense potential. The Bayern Munich keeper has gone on to fulfil that potential and is now arguably the best keeper in the world.

Neuer is confident, decisive and offers an assurance in-between the sticks for the Germans. Neuer has become the ultimate last line of defence by almost becoming an extra defender with his sweeper-keeper skills.

At times he must give German fans some heart problems with his runs out of goal, but most of the time he gets it right and helps his defence out.

Guillermo Ochoa (Mexico)

Mexico number one Ochoa has been lauded for his display against Brazil in El Tri’s 0-0 draw against the hosts. In truth though, he has been solid throughout the tournament and for the last few years in Ligue One for Ajaccio.

Ochoa is now a free agent after his contract with the French club expired and was already in-demand prior to the tournament. His performance in Brazil has just heightened that demand. No doubt Ochoa will be appearing in one of Europe’s top leagues next season.

Keylor Navas (Costa Rica)

Costa Rica keeper Keylor Navas was another player in-demand prior to the World Cup and another who has probably earned himself a big move this summer. Navas went into the tournament having helped Levante to an 11th place finish in La Liga, collecting a club record number of clean sheets in the process.

The 27-year-old took his fine form to Brazil with him and was a key part of Costa Rica’s unlikely journey to the World cup semi-finals. Navas conceded just two goals in Los Ticos’ five games in South America.

Reportedly Navas has a release clause of £6.5million, at that price he looks to be a bargain for any big European club looking for a reliable last line of defence. English clubs Arsenal and Liverpool are believed to be interested in signing the former-Albacete keeper this summer.

Tim Howard (USA)

The Everton star has proved to be one of the most consistent keepers in the Premier League in recent years and he has been no different for his country. The veteran Toffees keeper made a World Cup record breaking 15 saves against Belgium in the last 16.

Although many of those were routine saves and Belgium’s finishing was poor at times, Howard deserves credit for some vital saves throughout the tournament. The 35-year-old was also one of his team’s leaders.

Also rallying his team and nation at times, Howard helped his country achieve a place in the last 16 of the World Cup.

Thibaut Courtois (Belgium)

Last season Thibaut Courtois kept the most clean sheets in La Liga, as Atletico Madrid claimed the Spanish title for the first time in almost two decades. The on-loan Chelsea keeper was also solid for Belgium as they reached the quarter-finals of the World Cup, only to be defeated by Argentina.

Courtois made some vital saves for Belgium earlier in the tournament, especially against USA when his team were holding on in extra-time. Courtois also showed his confidence and nerve by denying Lionel Messi a second goal late-on in the quarter-final.

The youngster will return to parent club Chelsea this summer and could battle it out with Blues long-term number one Petr Cech for the number one jersey. The 22-year-old has already proved himself an accomplished performer, both at club and international level.

Close

I could not write an article about keepers without talking about Holland’s hero from last night’s penalty victory over Costa Rica. Newcastle keeper Tim Krul had not played a single minute at the World Cup.

However, Dutch boss Louis van Gaal brought Krul on in the last minute of extra-time for the penalty shootout. It was a strange move considering that Krul did not have a particularly great record at saving penalties (two saves from 20 taken against him).

The ploy worked though, as Krul psyched out the Costa Rica players by telling them where they were going to put the ball. Some have criticised the keeper and stated that the tactics were cheating.

It would be naïve to call it cheating. Krul used mind games and so did Van Gaal to a certain extent and they worked.

Important

Ironically Krul’s cameo could prove to be one of the most important at the World Cup. Four of the keepers mentioned in my list have now exited the competition, but Krul’s Holland face Argentina in the semi-finals in a game he might not even feature, what a mad football world we live in.

Which keeper has impressed you the most at the World Cup?

Sun 6 July, 2014
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35 Comments:

  1. ur nightmare says:

    u are a fool, which of the aforementioned keepers is better than enyeama? mad man

  2. The Analyst says:

    How can you not mention Enyeama? He made superb saves for the Nigerian team

  3. Jerry says:

    Enyeama is not included why

  4. what a save by Enyeama Against France when he saved a superb strike from Pogba. He deserves to be among the best goalkeepers in the world

  5. Jones says:

    this is bias! Everyone knows how critical Enyeama has been for the super eagles. He is a standout amongst all you’ve unjustly stated.

  6. Obi1 says:

    What is the criteria of selection. If Enyama is not there, its either you people are biased or you don’t know what you are doing. Na Wa o!

  7. Brad says:

    exactly how often do we see performances like the one that Howard put in against Belgium? 15 saves? too bad there was 2 more shots that happened to be too many. . .

  8. Niky says:

    manuel neuer is experience keeper in the world

  9. i like Manuel but thank the upcoming young courtis

  10. Noah says:

    Tim Howard (USA) He did great at the world cup.
    And his performances where ( Pyrrhic ) !

    Of course There is Manuel Neuer from Germany.
    He did like a Panoply!..

    Vincent Enyeama Did a great goal keeping.

  11. Charbel Abi Khalil says:

    Seriously !! Only this 5 mostly all the goalkeepers were great and rais algeria goalkeeper was amazing !! World class so powerful goalie !!

  12. David Nugent says:

    I agree a lot of keepers had good World Cup’s, but unfortunately I only had scope for five I’m afraid.

  13. HENRY says:

    Neur and courtois are the best keeper of dis tournerment but Enyeama need a chieftency title cos he also great but yobo spoil d show 4 him.

  14. Vesko says:

    I would add several more to the list: amazing Mbolhi for Algeria did a phenomenal job to almost eliminate champions Germany. Enyeama for Nigeria performed fine as always. Claudio Bravo for Chile did some fine games for a unlucky Chilean side, and Colombian Victor Ospina made some nice saves. Not to forget Cilessen for The Netherlands, whose only weak element seems to be penalties.

  15. to me i think Remero, the Argentina goalkeeper was the best for the tournament

  16. ikeh says:

    hmmmmm. where is enyeama? na waoooo!….

  17. Willy says:

    Not Neur

  18. eds says:

    everything is just going around Europe and they don’t know they are products of Africa. where is the Nigerian goalkeeper and the Ghana goal keeper jah mabe not the ghananian but definitely the Nigerian Enyeama

  19. sniky says:

    why in the world is Enyeama not on ur list? hahaha very very bias article. am not surprised though… African tend to always get under-rated. Aside neuer n maybe Howard then NO OTHER GK WAS BETTER THAN ENYEAMA at the world cup. courtois is a great but wasn’t as spectacular as the above 3, Ochoa had a good tournament but one fantastic game against Brazil. Enyema has fantastic against Bosnia, Argentina, n France. saved dzeko’s last minute one on one chance 10yards from goal, multi world class saves against Argentina n France.
    just because a person’s name sounds African doesn’t mean he is inferior

  20. David Nugent says:

    To make it clear I could not put Enyeama on the list because I did see enough of him during the tournament. From the highlights I saw he looked to have had an outstanding tournament, but I could not select a keeper who I only actually saw live twice during the World Cup.

  21. sebroxx says:

    I think that ocha and the Argentinian goalie and Navas wee great but enyeama was really good but he didn’t play very much

  22. Brad says:

    It’s funny seeing how everyone’s making it out to be something it’s not.

    “Just because a person’s name sounds African doesn’t mean he is inferior” for example.

    The usual “racist” tag from the looks of it. None of you care, or even notice the reasoning that David puts into his choices, which are worthwhile ones for the record.

    Grow up.

  23. David Nugent says:

    Brad thanks for that, there was no agenda behind it, other than the fact I only saw two of the games in which Enyeama featured, so did not have a complete picture of his whole World Cup.

  24. Brad says:

    Yeah, I understand how that goes. I never even noticed him really, which is sad considering I was there when the US played Nigeria in Jacksonville.

  25. David Nugent says:

    Are you still playing on a regular basis Brad?

  26. Brad says:

    Unfortunately, no. Sadly that part of my life is done with now, but I am working on becoming a coach so that I can stay in the game.

  27. David Nugent says:

    That’s a shame, but I hope you do well and the coaching works out for you.

  28. Elvinho says:

    David why make a post about the best 5 goalies in a tournament in which u didn’t take out time to watch others? i would say that your judgement wasn’t based on the full tournament but just a selected matches (meaning it is biased)…..would advice you watch all the clips of all the goal keepers involved before making such a blunder like this again.

  29. Enyema is the best. I am a Cameroonian so to me he is the best for now

  30. David Nugent says:

    Elvinho, I watched most of the tournament, but just happened to miss some of the Nigeria games. This article was about the keepers that impressed me. You can watch as many clips as you like, but it still does not give you a full picture of a players performance.

  31. Brad says:

    Different people are impressed by different things, Elvinho.

  32. Douglas says:

    Courtois is world class goal manager…love him back to mother club

  33. muhammad says:

    You crazy or what!! Enyema was superb at the world cup. To me he was the best.

  34. zama boris says:

    my best goalkeeper is manual from Germany i wish him the best.

  35. m--k-- says:

    just howard and nothing else

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