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Best Goalkeepers of 2021

Tue 14 December 2021 | 8:30

Who are the top keepers in the world right now? Who got to perform at the very best of his form in the previous season? Follow us below as we take a look at some of the best goalkeepers in Europe 2021 and get to see how they have fared so far in the new season.

Every good team needs a good goalkeeper, even though a keeper’s actual value for the team is not appreciated by everyone. Some might forget how vital keepers can be when the need arises and how useful they can prove to be even in open play. The likes of Manuel Neuer, Marc Andre Ter Stegen and Alisson have proven that a goalkeeper can be much more than just a shot stopper and we have seen some incredible things happen when the keeper comes forward.

But it is not just about such heroic acts and keeping the ball out of the net is still a goalkeeper’s main job in any game of football. That is why we are looking to select the

best goalkeepers of 2021

based on their seasonal stats in the second half of the 2020-21 and the first half of the 2021-22 season. 

Surely you too are eager to find out more about the best goalkeepers in 2021 as comparing their overall stats can give you a better idea of who to watch in the coming weeks. So read on as we provide all the details you might need to know about the best shot stoppers in the world in the new season.

Top 10 goalkeepers in 2021

From the likes of Real Madrid’s Thibaut Courtois and Atletico Madrid’s Jan Oblak, to Chelsea’s new rising star Edouard Mendy and Paris Saint-Germain’s recent free transfer Gianluigi Donnarumma, there is a whole array of incredible shot-stoppers on the list of best goalkeepers of 2021. Here is everything you need to know about these footballers, who have been in an absolutely phenomenal form.

Marc-Andre Ter Stegen

If you want class in a goalkeeper, then look no further. Marc-Andre Ter Stegen is your man. The German footballer is without a doubt one of the best keepers of his generation and is on a par his compatriot Manuel Neuer on many levels and might even be better than the Germany international on many other levels. Ter Stegen rose to prominence upon his arrival at

Barcelona

in 2014, when he joined the Spanish club from Borussia Monchengladbach for €12 million. The German goalkeeper is actually a Monchengladbach youth academy product, from which he graduated in 2010 when he was called up to the club’s senior side.

The young and aspiring shot-stopper got to make a total of 127 appearances for the Bundesliga side and managed to keep a magnificent number of 45 clean sheets in the process, which is truly an astounding stat in such a high-profile league. But the list is not about the best keepers of all time as it instead focuses on the

top 10 goalkeepers in 2021

.

Barcelona are suffering dearly after Lionel Messi’s departure from the club in the summer transfer window. The Catalan club are at their worst since the days before Messi and are struggling to keep it up until the end of the season. The Spanish giants just made history by failing to qualify to the Champions League Round of 16 after a 3-0 defeat against Bayern Munich. Xavi’s disoriented and disjointed squad is even struggling to reach the top-3 in La Liga, which has put even more pressure on the Spaniard and his men.

But even such hardships and failures haven’t stopped Ter Stegen from performing at his best week-in week-out. While admittedly the German goalkeeper might not be as good as he used to be in the previous seasons, he is still one of the fines in the business. He got to keep 14 clean sheets while conceding 50 goals in a total of 42 appearances last season, which helped Barcelona stay amongst the top-3 in the league.

That is why the Germany international is considered to be one of the best goalkeepers of 2021, even though his fine form is not sufficient to stop his side from crumbling under all the pressure. The 29-year-old is still at the peak of his career and might need to relocate to further improve his career if he wants to continue his path towards success.

Ederson

Ederson became one of the most expensive goalkeepers in Premier League history when he moved from Benfica to

Manchester City

for a staggering fee of €40 million in the summer transfer window of 2017. Since then, the Brazilian has been one of the best keepers in the English top-flight and has helped Pep guardiola’s side to numerous trophies throughout the years.

Just like Manuel Neuer and Marc-Andre Ter Stegen’s rivalry for a spot in the Germany national team’s starting-XI, Ederson contends for a place in the Brazil national team’s starting-XI with his compatriot Alisson Becker, who plays for his side’s league rivals Liverpool. Such a rivalry has boosted both of the players’ stats as they try their hardest to best the other across all competitions. The 28-year-old Brazilian is without a doubt one of the best goalkeepers of his generation and has only just begun playing at the peak of his career.

With an incredible 32 clean sheets in 58 games for

Benfica

, Ederson joined Manchester City as an up and coming goalkeeper and managed to become the club’s main keeper from day-1. He got a total of 26 clean sheets in 48 appearances in the 2020-21 season alone, which is an incredible feat if you take a look at the stats of other keepers in the English top-flight. Ederson’s fine form led his side to yet another Premier League trophy, which was actually the Brazilian keeper’s third league title in six years.

The new season has been as good as the last one so far as Ederson has managed to keep 7 clean sheets in his first 15 league games. of course it seems that the new campaign is a bit more difficult than the last one as other teams have amped up their strikers to get their hands on the Premier League trophy. Yet with all the goals that the Brazil international has conceded so far, he is still one of the best goalkeepers in Europe 2021.

Keylor Navas

No Madridista can forget the feats that Keylor Navas achieved with Real Madrid under Zinedine Zidane’s management. Winning the Champions League for three consecutive seasons is truly a historic achievement that few could imagine being a part of at any given time. That is why Navas will be immortalized as one of the greatest goalkeepers of his generation. But those glorious days are over and Los Blancos have moved on to other players, leaving their once great keeper to be snatched by other big clubs in Europe.

Navas joined

Paris Saint-Germain

from Real Madrid for €15 million in 2019 and has since proven to be a great addition to club’s squad. The 34-year-old is so consistent in his games that even Gianluigi Donnarumma’s arrival has not sidelined the Costa Rica international for good. Despite what many expected to see in the PSG squad, Navas is still considered to be a main goalkeeper for Mauricio Pochettino, who seems to be giving all the chances that the former UCL winner needs to keep his status as the club’s main man on the goal line.

Before having to share the spotlight with a young and aspiring goalkeeper, Navas got to make a total of 45 appearances for the Parisians in the 2020-21 campaign, during which he managed to keep 20 clean sheets while conceding 36 goals in the process. Keeping a clean sheet in almost half of one’s games is no easy feat to achieve, which is why Navas is one of the

best goalkeepers of 2021

.

The Costa Rican might not have been as incredible so far this season as he used to be in the previous campaigns, but he has still managed to keep 4 clean sheets in his first 10 league appearances this season, which is why he deserved to be amongst the best goalkeepers in 2021.

Samir Handanovic

Imagine being one of the main reasons behind your team finally winning the league title by ending the reign of your rival club after several years. That is exactly what Samir Handanovic achieved as

Inter

’s main goalkeeper in recent years. Handanovic has been at Inter for more than eight years and no one has dared challenging him for the spot as the club’s main keeper. He joined the Nerazzurri from Udinese Calcio for a massive fee of €15 million back in 2012 and has since lived up to the billing every season. The Slovenian is one of the fines goalkeepers of his time and Inter fans can’t thank him enough for what he did for the club in the 2020-21 season.

He was one of the main reasons behind Inter’s success in the Serie A as they finally ended Juventus’ reign over the Italian top-flight by winning the Scudetto after more than ten years. The Slovenian got to keep 18 clean sheets in 47 games last season, conceding an average of less than 1 goal per game. Many think the 37-year-old is close to his retirement, but the 1.93 meter tall keeper’s days as the champion of Italy has only just begun, which will certainly boost his stats in the coming months.

Of course with Inter’s recent dip in form due to all the top-money sales over the summer, Handanovic might struggle to keep up with his previous records in the new season. Whatever comes in the next few months, the Inter shot-stopper will still remain amongst the

best goalkeepers of 2021

.

Alisson Becker

Few rivalries can reach the level in which Alisson Becker and Ederson compete in the Premier League. Both Brazilians have been taking part in an intense rivalry for a spot in the Brazil national team starting-XI and both are competing to become the best goalkeeper in the English top-flight.

While Ederson has helped Manchester City conquer the Premier League on more than two occasions throughout the years, Alisson has managed to help Jurgen Klopp’s side to winning both the league title and the Champions League trophy, which Manchester City have not gotten their hands on so far despite having spent more than a billion Euros in the last decade. Alisson joined

Liverpool

from

AS Roma

for an eye-watering fee of €62.5 million in the summer of 2018 and has since managed to introduce himself to the world as a top keeper.

As one of the best goalkeepers of 2021, the Brazilian managed to lead Liverpool through one of their worst runs in recent seasons as Jurgen Klopp’s side struggled to find a suitable replacement for the then injured Virgil van Dijk. Despite his club’s shaky defense in the previous campaign, Alisson still managed to keep 15 clean sheets while getting an average of less than a goal in each game.

The 29-year-old’s role as a sweeper-keeper has allowed him to help the defense whenever the need arises, which has helped him to keep 8 clean sheets in his first 15 Premier League appearances this season. These stats alone are enough to put him on the list of

best goalkeepers in 2021

as the former AS Roma keeper has earned his fair share amongst the top keepers in the world.

Manuel Neuer

Few goalkeepers get to win it all and even fewer goalkeepers can even dream of being on the shortlist for the Ballon d’Or award amongst the two GOATs, who are obviously Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. There is a reason why Manuel Neuer came third behind Ronaldo and Messi for the 2014 Ballon d’Or award and topped every other forward and striker on the shortlist, and that reason is that the Germany international is without a doubt one of the greatest goalkeepers in the history of football.

The 35-year-old is so good that even Marc-Andre Ter Stegen has not managed to replace him as Germany’s main goalkeeper. Neuer is one of the pioneers of spreading the “Sweeper-keeper” school in Europe as he is a complete defender all by himself. We have seen him single-handedly keeping his box clean of the opposition players. We have seen all

Bayern Munich

players pushing forward while Neuer defends the goal line all by himself. The 2014 World Cup winner is truly a phenomenal shot-stopper with incredible agility and lightning-fast reactions.

He deserves to be amongst the

best goalkeepers in Europe 2021

all because of his incredible performance. While the 2019-20 season was a historic achievement for both the German keeper and the Bavarians as they won the sextuple, the 2020-21 season was great as well, during which Neuer made a total of 46 appearances and got to keep 14 clean sheets in the process.

Keeping in mind that the Bundesliga is one of the more intense and physical leagues in Europe, keeping 8 clean sheets in 20 appearances is something that the Germany international can boast about. These stats could have been a lot better if Bayern Munich could solve the issue of their defensive depth with more signings in the winter transfer window.

Thibaut Courtois

Keylor Navas’ departure from

Real Madrid

saddened many of the club’s fans as they had so many good memories with the Costa Rican goalkeeper. But almost all Madridistas were excited to finally sign Thibaut Courtois from Chelsea. Courtois had tried his best to move to Spain due to personal reasons and he finally got his move in the summer of 2018 as he joined Los Blancos for €35 million.

With Cristiano Ronaldo’s departure from the Spanish giants, Real Madrid experienced an utterly terrible dip in form as they failed to live up to expectations after failing to replace one of the greatest footballers in history. With all the failures that Madrid were experiencing, Thibaut Coutrois also got stuck in the crossfire as he too failed to live up to the billing in his first season at the Spanish side. Having become the victim of so many criticisms, the Belgian goalkeeper turned the tides in his favor by regaining his top form a season later.

He has since become the club’s most trusted goalkeeper and is one of the reasons behind their success in recent months. As one of the best goalkeepers of 2021, the former Chelsea man performed numerous heroic actions in the 2020-21 season as he kept a total of 21 clean sheets in 51 appearances across all competitions. He only conceded 44 goals in those appearances and has managed to improve upon those stats with 9 clean sheets in his first 20 appearances this season.  

Edouard Mendy

Next on the list of top 10 goalkeepers in 2021 is

Chelsea

’s Edouard Mendy, who came to the club as an emergency replacement for Kepa Arrizabalaga. Kepa arrived at the London-based club as the most expensive goalkeeper in history, but utterly failed to live up to the billing with terrible records and an even worse attitude towards his former manager Maurizio Sarri. That is why Edouard Mendy came to save the day by replacing Kepa as the club’s main goalkeeper.

Nobody would have thought that Mendy would earn a place amongst the best goalkeepers of 2021 as he was a mid-level goalkeeper back at Stade Rennais. But the 29-year-old has proven upon his arrival at Chelsea in the September of 2020, that he is undoubtedly one of the best goalkeepers in the world. The France-born Senegalese keeper helped Chelsea win the Champions League after several years and later led Thomas Tuchel’s side to victory in the UEFA Supercup decider.

Since joining the Premier League side, Mendy has made more than 60 appearances for Chelsea and has kept a phenomenal 36 clean sheets in the process, which takes the Senegal international’s clean sheet record to more than half the games he has played for the Blues so far. Such unbelievable stats are certainly more than enough to put Mendy on the list of best goalkeepers of 2021. Yet the former Stade Rennais keeper does not get as much attention as some of the other goalkeepers might get on social media.

Gianluigi Donnarumma

If there is one goalkeeper in the world whom everyone believes is going to have an incredible career as one of the greatest footballers of the future, that person is Gianluigi Donnarumma. The 22-year-old is already gaining prominence as Italy’s next Buffon. The 1.96 meter tall giant of a goalkeeper is a true world-class footballer and has already conquered Europe with his national team.

The only things lacking from the young and aspiring talent’s trophy cabinet are the Champions League trophy and the World Cup, both of which he might get to win in the near future. As an AC Milan academy graduate, Donnarumma gained global recognition as one of the best in the business during his days at the Italian club’s senior side, for who he got to make a total of 251 appearances throughout the years.

Despite his young age, the former

AC Milan

man is one of the more experienced footballers and is now eyeing more trophies with Paris Saint-Germain, whom he joined on a free transfer deal in the summer.

Being on the list of best goalkeepers of 2021, Donnarumma helped the Italy national team win Euro 2020 in an intense penalty shoot-out against England. But the Italian is now struggling to replace Keylor Navas as PSG’s main and only goalkeeper. Of course Navas’ time with the Parisians might be coming to an end as Donnarumma’s consistency is slowly gaining Pochettino’s trust. For the time being, however, the Italy international might have to wait a bit longer to finally become PSG’s main keeper.

Jan Oblak

You simply can’t talk about the best goalkeepers of 2021 without mentioning Jan Oblak, who has been an absolute wall of a goalie for Atletico Madrid since joining the Spanish club from Benfica for €16 million in 2014. Oblak is without a doubt one of the main reasons behind Diego Simeone’s success as Atleti’s manager. The Slovenian is one of the greatest goalkeepers in history and has helped the Rojiblancos to win several trophies throughout the years.

The most recent trophy is of course the 2020-21 La Liga title, which Oblak helped Atleti win with 18 clean sheets in 38 appearances in the league. Having conceded only 25 goals in those games, the Slovenia international managed to snatch the Zamora Award by beating Thibaut Courtois and Marc-Andre Ter Stegen to it with an average of 0.66 goals conceded in each game.

The 2019-20 season was the only season Jan Oblak failed to win the best goalkeeper of the season award in La Liga since his arrival, which shows how magnificent the Slovenian keeper has been for Atletico Madrid and how he has managed to earn a spot on the list of best goalkeepers of 2021.

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