Ranking Factors

  • Longevity – If they performed for a longer period than the average goalkeeper, they have been ranked at the top, simply because it shows how they have been able to continually adapt despite the modern game changing throughout the decades.

  • Consistency – It’s all about world-class performances year in and year out make a goalkeeper better. If they’ve done that throughout their professional career, they have been ranked higher.

  • Performances in the big games (finals) – Finals are the most important games in a player’s professional career. If a goalkeeper has played a crucial part in these games, they have been ranked higher.


1. Lev Yashin 1950 – 1970
Gianluigi Buffon
1995 – 2023
3. Manuel Neuer 2004 – Present
Iker Casillas
1998 – 2020
Oliver Kahn
1987 – 2008
6. Petr Cech 1999 – 2019
Peter Schmeichel
1981 – 2003
Edwin van der Sar
1990 – 2016
Alisson Becker
2013 – Present
10. Gordon Banks 1958 – 1977
11. Pat Jennings 1963 – 1986
12. Dida 1992 – 2015
13. David Seaman 1982 – 2004
14. Thibaut Courtois 2009 – Present
15. Hugo Lloris 2005 – Present
16. Sepp Maier 1962 – 1980
17. Neville Southall 1973 – 2002
18. Dino Zoff 1961 – 1983
19. Andoni Zubizarreta 1980 – 1998
20. Peter Shilton 1966 – 1997

Let’s pick a few of them out now and describe some positive facts during their careers:


Dino Zoff after playing for Napoli and Udinese became an icon for Juventus and Italian national team throughout the 1970’s running into the early 80’s. His most notable achievement is the 1982 World Cup triumph for the Azzurri, where he captained the side to glory. After finishing runner-up in 1970, it was looking as if Zoff would go his whole career without a World Cup triumph, but 1982 saw the legendary goalkeeper win the trophy at the age of 40. Zoff was goalkeeper of the tournament for making several outstanding and decisive saves, like the one made against Brazil at the 89th minute that gave Italy the Semifinal!

At club level, he won everything with the exception of the Champions League (European Cup, runner up in 1983), winning 6 Serie A titles as well as 2 Coppa Italia’s and a Europa League (UEFA Cup).

Zoff then became a very successful soccer coach, 3 seasons with Juventus winning a Coppa Italia and a Europa League in the same season to then pass on to SS Lazio where he coached for 5 seasons, taking the Bianco Celesti back in Europe after 21 years!

Neville Southall

Born in Llandudno (North Wales Neville Southall began his career amateur career in the late 70’s in his hometown for Llandudno United. However, in he moved on to pro-soccer with English football team Bury FC in 1980, before being transferred to Premier League team Everton FC. Southall spent 17 years at Everton, winning two league titles in 85 and 86, two FA Cups, and the 1984/85 European Cup Winners’ Cup. The last team to win a UEFA title prior to the UK teams ban.

Southall also played internationally for Wales, collecting 92 caps between 1982 and 1998, however he did not feature in any major international competitions.


Gordon Banks:

World Cup winner in 1966 with the best England team of all times, Gordon Banks made the FIFA best save of all times at the 1970 World Cup in Mexico, denying the one and only Pele with a save that the naked eye struggled to comprehend. Banks flew at least 12ft across the goal line to sweep over the crossbar an amazing header at close range.

He spent nearly all of his playing career at Leicester City and Stoke City, winning one League Cup at both clubs. However, his legacy is enhanced by his time with the England national team. Like said he helped the England win the World Cup in 1966, collecting 73 caps over the years. For some reason Banks never got to play for a major club and for this maybe he is not ranked in the top 10 of all times.

Manuel Neuer:

Manuel Neuer has been one of the most consistent goalkeepers of all times. Known to have redefined the essence of a goalkeeper, playing as a “sweeper-keeper” throughout his career. Rushing out of goal proved effective for him, helping his team dictate the tempo of matches. Neuer is the “inventor” of the Star-Out save, that has been adopted into the FIFA goalkeeper training handbook.

A one-and-only at an international level, the confident last man of defense has made over 500 appearances for Bundasliga icons Bayern Munich. No goalkeeper in the history of UEFA’s top flight leagues has ever kept more clean sheets than him. Winning the World Cup in 2014 will be his greatest achievement, however he has also won the Champions League twice, back in 2013 and 2020, with Bayern and runner up this past edition. Add to that 11 titles in the Bundasliga and 7 Gernman Cup titles.

Gigi Buffon:

Gianluigi Buffon went his entire career without winning the Champions League title, even though he played in three finals with Juventus. Despite this, he is still one of the greatest goalkeepers of all time. Gigi is known to be like Neuer and is a very humble person, very attached to his fans and loved by all Italian soccer fans in general. Even if Buffon never played for Serie A soccer team Lazio, he and the Curva Nord fans have a great relationship and several times Gigi has walked under to the stands to interact with them.

Gigi’s first official Serie A game was at the age of 17 against UEFA Champions League champions AC Milan when he was pulled into the game as first team Parma goalkeeper suffered an injury.  Buffon in that game made 11 decisive saves and was no longer removed from the Parma goal, plating 4 seasons and winning 2 Coppa Italia, and even better in Europe by winning 2 Europa Leagues, 1 Cup Winners Cup and a UEFA Supercup. In 15 years at Juventus Buffon won 11 Serie A titles… Yes 11!!!