The classic Italy were more famous for their defensive abilities and their top goalkeepers; goalkeepers like Dino Zoff who undisputedly ruled the world of classic goalkeepers. In this post, we are to see who the best Italian goalkeepers are based on the clean sheets they have earned within Serie A.
Before anything else we should say that except for the top Inter Milan goalkeeper, Samir Handanovic, none of the goalkeepers with
most clean sheets in Serie A in 2020-21
season or goalkeepers with most saves in Serie A in 2020-21 season are on the list of goalkeepers with most clean sheets in Serie A history, and that doesn’t mean they’ve had a poor performance but they have still a long way before them before they can rise through the ranks.
The goalkeeper with most clean sheets in Serie A in 2020-21 season is actually Samir Handanovic, with 15 clean sheets to his name from 37 matches, however, the goalkeeper with
most saves in Serie A in 2020-21
season was Empoli’s goalkeeper, Guglielmo Vicario, with a total of 53 saves in 2020-21 season.
That’s up to you to decide which of the goalkeepers above should be called the best goalkeeper in Serie A in 2020-21 season but consider that Vicario managed to earn only one clean sheet in 2020-21 season while Handanovic, with his 15 clean sheets, is only 8 saves behind Vicario on the list of goalkeepers with most saves in Serie A in 2020-21 season. It seems to us that aside from the fact that Handanovic is Inter Milan’s goalkeeper, he’s a better candidate for the best goalkeeper in Serie A in 2020-21 season.
Well, enough of
best goalkeeper in Serie A in 2020-21
or the goalkeeper with most clean sheets in Serie A in 2020-21 season! Let’s see who the best goalkeepers are in Serie A history based on their clean sheets.
Number one on the list of goalkeepers with most clean sheets in Serie A history,Gianluigi Buffon
is a goalkeeper from another planet who is number one in many respects! For instance, he’s the one with Longest consecutive run without conceding a goal in a single Serie A season (974 minutes) and also the one with Most clean sheets in a single Serie A season (21 in 2011-12 season), but let’s get to his clean sheet stats within Serie A.
As you can see from the title, Buffon earned a total of 299 clean sheets within Serie A which actually happened in 658 appearances getting him an appearance-to-clean-sheet ratio of 2.2 and meaning that he earned one clean sheet in every 2.2 appearances he made within Serie A during his career. That also means he earned a clean sheet in 45.4% of all his appearances which is the second highest percentage at least among the first twenty goalkeepers on the list.
Buffon actually conceded 535 goals in all his 658Serie A
appearances which means he received a goal in every 1.22 matches within the major Italian league. Based on this, we can say that the top Italian goalkeeper received a goal every 110 minutes within Serie A which is again one of the top rates on the list considering that for most of the goalkeepers on the list this rate is below 100 minutes. Buffon is not only considered as one of the best goalkeepers Juventus and Italy have ever had but also as one of the best goalkeepers in the world with a number of records to his name two of which we just mentioned in the first paragraph.
Dino Zoff should somehow top the list of
goalkeepers with most clean sheets in Serie A history
: Although he’s behind Gianluigi Buffon concerning the number of clean sheets he earned within Serie A during his career, he’s in front of Buffon and actually all the other goalkeepers on the list concerning his appearance-to-clean-sheets ratio (48.8%) and his average minutes before conceding a goal (118 minutes).
While Buffon collected 299 clean sheets from 658 appearances,Dino Zoff
earned 276 clean sheets from 566 appearances which means he earned a clean sheet in every 2.05 appearances. It also means that if Dino Zoff made as many appearances as Buffon during his career (658), he would probably get 320 clean sheets with the current appearance-to-clean-sheets ratio he has (48.8%), and then he would sit strongly at the top of the list of goalkeepers with most clean sheets in Serie A history.
Dino Zoff is also in front of Buffon and the rest of the goalkeepers on the list concerning his appearance-to-goals-conceded ratio which is 1.31 coming from the 432 goals he conceded in his 566 Serie A appearances. That actually means he received 5 goals in every 6.5 Serie A appearances which, as we mentioned, is lowest than the number of goals all the other goalkeepers on the list received in the same number of appearances within Serie A.
And although Dino Zoff has not as many records as Buffon to his name, he has a few with two of them being Longest time without conceding a goal in international matches (1142 minutes) and most consecutive minutes without conceding a goal in European Championships including the qualifying rounds (784 minutes). Just like Buffon who got very close to winning a Ballon d’Or trophy - actually 2006 Ballon d’Or where he finished second, Dino Zoff also finished second in the 1973 edition of the occasion.
Fiorentina’s goalkeeper in 1960s, Enrico Albertosi, may not be as famous as Buffon or Dino Zoff, but he was actually good enough to come right after these two top goalkeepers on the third place on the list of goalkeepers with most clean sheets in Serie A history. In fact, Albertosi has one of the highest appearance-to-clean-sheets ratios on the list with a ratio of 2.23 which means he collected a clean sheet in every 2.23 appearances or in 44.7% of all his appearances within Serie A. Don’t forget that he was alsoCagliari
and Milan’s goalkeeper after his service to Fiorentina.
Concerning the number of minutes before conceding a goal, Albertosi is also above all goalkeepers on the list except for Buffon and Dino Zoff with an average of 109 minutes, and concerning his appearance-to-goals-conceded ratio, we should say he’s only behind Dino Zoff and equal to Gianluigi Buffon with a ratio of 1.22 which means he conceded a goal in every 1.22 appearances within Serie A, however, concerning the club trophies he won during his career, he’s not even comparable to Buffon and Dino Zoff with a total of 7 club trophies and an international one - actually Euro 1968.
Occupying the fourth position on the list of goalkeepers with most clean sheets in Serie A history, Giovanni Galli is a 63-year-old retired Italian goalkeeper who, like Enrico Albertosi, served Fiorentina more than any other club during his career; actually for 9 years between 1977 and 1986. Galli made a total of 496 appearances within Serie A from which he managed to collect 211 clean sheets. That actually gets him an appearance-to-clean-sheets ratio of 2.35 which means he collected a clean sheet in 42.5% of all the appearances he made within Serie A.
Galli conceded a total of 445 goals in his 496 Serie A appearances which gets him an appearance-to-goals-conceded ratio of 1.11 meaning that he conceded one goal in every 1.11 of his Serie A appearances. That also means he conceded a goal in every 99 minutes of play averagely, considering that he didn’t play full 90 minutes in all his appearances. Anyway, a little less goals conceded for him means that he could be among the goalkeepers on the list with an average of 100 or more minutes before conceding a goal.
The incredible goalkeeper of Italy in the final of 1994 FIFA World Cup against Brazil who guarded Italy’s goal against the numerous attacks of the Little Canaries and kept his team in the game up until 120th minutes, Gianluca Pagliuca is a 54-year-old retired Italian goalkeeper remembered for his great performance in the same occasion. Maybe, the only really-top club he played for during his career was Inter Milan, however, he was so good to have finished 5th on the list of
goalkeepers with most clean sheets in Serie A history
collected 194 clean sheets within Serie A, it was in 596 appearances which gets him one of the highest appearance-to-clean-sheets ratios on the list: 3.07 - the lower this ratio the better since lower ratios mean a goalkeeper collected more clean sheets. And that 3.07 means that Pagliuca collected a clean sheet in almost 32.6% of all his Serie A appearances. Pagliuca’s average minutes before conceding a goal is the lowest among the first 10 goalkeepers on the list: 81 that he shares with the next position, Samir Handanovic.
Pagliuca also conceded 664 goals in all his 596 Serie A appearances which means he conceded a goal in almost every 0.9 appearance he made within Serie A, or in other words, 1.1 goals in every appearance. Pagliuca’s fame, as we already mentioned, comes from his bravery in 1994 World Cup with the Italian national team. It might be interesting for you to know that apart from a handful of club trophies he won during his career, Pagliuca was awarded the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic (5th-class knight) in 1991.
The only non-Italian footballer on the list of goalkeepers with most clean sheets in Serie A history - at least among the first ten, Samir Handanovic is Inter Milan’s 37-year-old Slovenian goalkeeper who is also the only not-retired goalkeeper on the list. That means he has more time to add to his clean sheets and improve his position on the list especially considering that he has only 4 clean sheets behind the previous position to him occupied by Gianluca Pagliuca with 190 clean sheets.
By now, Samir Handanovic has managed to collect 190 clean sheets in 531 Serie A appearances which means he has collected a clean sheet in every 2.79 appearances he has made within Serie A or in 35.8% of all his Serie A appearances. That’s a little bit better than Pagliuca’s appearance-to-clean-sheets ratio, and as mentioned before, both goalkeepers share the same number of average minutes before conceding a goal: 81. And Handanovic has conceded 585 goals in his 531 Serie A appearances, till this date of course (December 2021), which means he has averagely conceded 1.1 goals in every of his Serie A appearances.
One of the top Italian goalkeepers during 1970s, Luciano Castellini is a 75-year-old retired goalkeeper with 180 Serie A clean sheets to his name. He actually earned these 180 clean sheets in 401 appearances which means he collected a clean sheet in every 2.22 appearances that he made within Serie A or in 44.9% of all his appearances. Concerning the number of average minutes before conceding a goal, Castellini is one of the best on the list; actually the fourth best with an average of 107 minutes and a narrow margin of 2 minutes with the third best, Enrico Albertosi.
Castellini actually conceded 329 goals in his 401 Serie A appearances which means he conceded a goal in every 1.21 appearances or, the other way, he conceded 0.82 goal in every appearance. That’s still a better ratio than those of the three goalkeepers before him on the list, namely Samir Handanovic, Gianluca Pagliuca, and Giovanni Galli. It might be interesting for you to know that Castellini is among few footballers in the history of football to have made more than 200 appearances for two different clubs each, namelyNapoli
and Torino. Also, during his service to Napoli, the retired Italian goalkeeper managed to go unbeaten for 531 consecutive minutes which, at the time, was only bettered by Dino Zoff who had gone unbeaten for 590 consecutive minutes.
Among thebest Italian goalkeepers in the history of football
, Angelo Peruzzi is a 51-year-old retired footballer who served some top Serie A clubs like AS Roma and Juventus during his career. He made a total of 479 appearances and managed to collect 177 clean sheets during his time at Serie A which actually covers all his career. That means he collected a clean sheet in every 2.7 appearances or in 37% of all his appearances during his career.
Peruzzi received 477 goals in his 479 Serie A appearances which translates to almost one goal in every appearance, and the average of minutes before he conceded a goal is 87 which is kind of average on the list. Peruzzi was named Serie A Goalkeeper of the Year for three years, namely 1997, 1998, and 2007, and was actually part of the Italian national team who won the 2006 FIFA World Cup though he only served as a substitute to the Italian first-team goalkeeper, Gianluigi Buffon, and only appeared in two of the same World Cup qualification-round matches against Scotland and Belarus where Buffon was sidelined due to injury.
173 clean sheets in 422 Serie A appearances; that is Luca Marchegiani’s clean-sheet stats within Serie A which means he was able to collect a clean sheet in every 2.43 appearances or in 41% of all his appearances within the Italian major league. Not that good, but good enough to get him among the first ten goalkeepers with most clean sheets in Serie A history - actually on the 9th position on the list.
The average minutes before conceding a goal for Marchegiani is 91 which is a full football game and means that he received around the same number of goals as he made appearances within Serie A, as it’s almost so: He received 406 goals in his 422 Serie A appearances which means he received almost one goal (exactly 0.96) in each of his appearances in Serie A. Marchegiani is often remembered as a Lazio goalkeeper and in particular for two facts: First, when he was transferred fromTorino
to Lazio for a transfer fee of £6m, he actually became the most expensive goalkeeper in the world at the time, and second, he holds the record for the longest unbeaten streak in Lazio’s history. The 55-year-old retired Italian goalkeeper also shares the record of eighth highest unbeaten streak in Serie A with Gianluigi Buffon who went 745 minutes without conceding a goal in the major Italian league.
The oldest goalkeeper among the first ten
goalkeepers with most clean sheets in Serie A history
alongside Enrico Albertosi, Lido Vieri is a 82-year-old retired Italian goalkeeper who managed to collect 167 clean sheets from his 409 Serie A appearances which means he collected a clean sheet in every 2.44 appearances on average or in 40.8% of all his appearances. Vieri majorly served Torino and Inter Milan during his career and conceded 392 goals in all his Serie A appearances which means he almost conceded a goal (exactly 0.95) in every appearance that he made within the major Italian league. The retired Italian goalkeeper won an Italian Cup with Torino and a Serie A title with Inter Milan during his career; he also served as a substitute to Enrico Albertosi in 1970 World Cup where Italy finished as runners-up though he never made an appearance in the major global competition.
Here are a few other goalkeepers who follow on the list. Please note that by average minutes below we mean the average minutes before conceding a goal for a goalkeeper and that all the stats below are the goalkeepers’ Serie A stats not their whole-career stats.
Giuliano Sarti, Apps: 387, Clean Sheets: 158, Goals Conceded: 340, Average Minutes: 100
Ivano Bordon, Apps: 370, Clean Sheets: 157, Goals Conceded: 321, Average Minutes: 102
Morgan De Sanctis, Apps: 419, Clean Sheet: 155, Goals Conceded: 451, Average Minutes: 83
Fabio Cudicini, Apps: 337, Clean Sheets: 150, Goals Conceded: 314, Average Minutes: 96
Walter Zenga, Apps: 369, Clean Sheets: 148, Goals Conceded: 337, Average Minutes: 98
Sebastiano Rossi, Apps: 346, Clean Sheets: 146, Goals Conceded: 324, Average Minutes: 95
Stefano Tacconi, Apps: 388, Clean Sheets: 141, Goals Conceded: 393, Average Minutes: 88
Christian Abbiati, Apps: 336, Clean Sheets: 134, Goals Conceded: 313, Average Minutes: 94
Guido Masetti, Apps: 337, Clean Sheets: 134, Goals Conceded: 355, Average Minutes: 85
Lorenzo Buffon, Apps: 376, Clean Sheets: 134, Goals Conceded: 408, Average Minutes: 83
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