England’s 1966 World Cup-winning goalkeeper Gordon Banks has sadly died aged 81. Banks was named as FIFA’s Goalkeeper of the Year on six separate occasions and is widely regarded as one of the best of all time. In honour of his amazing career, we’ve taken a look at the best goalkeepers ever to see the company that Banks keeps in terms of the all-time standings.
10. Manuel Neuer
Manuel Neuer has been the ultimate “sweeper ‘keeper” for both club and country. He’s won numerous league titles with Bayern Munich as well as the Champions League. He also captained Germany to World Cup glory and aged 32, he still has plenty of time ahead of him.
9. Edwin van der Sar
Edwin van der Sar’s career was a bit of a rollercoaster. He was part of the dominant Ajax team of the mid-1990’s, where he won the Champions League and four Dutch titles. His move to Juventus didn’t work out too well and aged 31, he joined Fulham. His displays there earned him a move to Manchester United, aged 35, and he stayed there for six years, winning four Premier League titles. Furthermore, his penalty shootout save from Nicolas Anelka won United the 2008 Champions League.
8. Peter Shilton
It’s quite remarkable to think that Peter Shilton’s career lasted over 30 years! Even at age 40, he was still regarded as one of the best in the world, hence why he was England’s ‘keeper at Italia ’90. He was a major reason as to why Nottingham Forest won back-to-back European Cups in 1979 and 1980.
7. Sepp Maier
Sepp Maier was the goalkeeper of Bayern Munich as they dominated Europe, winning three successive European Cups between 1974 and 1976. The larger-than-life character also won the 1972 European Championships and 1974 World Cup with West Germany, a team regarded as one of the most defensively assured teams of all-time.
6. Iker Casillas
As CV’s go, Iker Casillas’ is right up there with the best you’ll ever see. He broke into the Real Madrid team at 18 years old and he never looked back. He was a Champions League winner at 19 and a La Liga winner at 20. He went on to win 17 major honours with Real. Furthermore, Casillas was the captain of Spain as they won Euro 2008 and the World Cup in 2010. Not bad!
5. Dino Zoff
Dino Zoff is the oldest man ever to have won the World Cup as he captained Italy to glory in 1982, aged 40, 14 years after he was the goalkeeper when the Italians won the European Championships on home soil in 1968. Unlike Maier, Zoff was a quieter man who let his actions do the talking. Six Serie A titles, two Coppa Italia’s and a UEFA Cup at Juventus speak for themselves.
4. Gordon Banks
Gordon Banks made the most famous save in football history when he kept out Pele’s header at the World Cup in 1970, four years after he helped England win the World Cup. Named FIFA goalkeeper of the year six consecutive times between 1966 and 1971, Banks was as good as there’s ever been and would likely have gone on to be the best of all time had he not lost the sight in his right eye following a car crash.
3. Peter Schmeichel
Peter Schmeichel was one of the driving forces as Manchester United dominated English football in the 1990’s. Not only was he absolutely massive, but he was also so quick and agile that strikers couldn’t seem to find a way past him. He won five league titles, three FA Cups and the Champions League at United. He also helped Denmark defy the odds to win Euro ’92. League title wins at Brondby and Sporting should not be ignored either.
2. Lev Yashin
Lev Yashin is still the only goalkeeper to have ever won the Ballon d’Or, having won the title in 1963. Before Yashin, goalkeepers tended to stay on their line but he revolutionised the position as he charged off his to close down defenders or come to collect crosses. The best goalkeepers at each World Cup are now presented the ‘Lev Yashin Award’, which demonstrates how well regarded the Soviet star was.
1. Gianluigi Buffon
Aged 41, Gianluigi Buffon is still going strong at PSG, where he’ll hope to add that elusive Champions League title. His 23-year career has seen him win nine league titles with Juventus and he’s certain to add a Ligue 1 title to his collection too. Buffon set a World Cup record by conceding just two goals in seven matches as Italy lifted the trophy in 2006.