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Best Serie A goalkeepers of all time

Tue 16 August 2022 | 15:30

Serie A is undeniably one of the greatest football leagues all around the world. Being amongst the top five, there have been many great names during the league’s history, from managers to midfielders and goalkeepers. But who are the best Serie A goalkeepers in history?

Whether an attacker or a goalkeeper, we all know that every member of a football team has a significant role in their team’s victory. However, what makes the role of the goalkeepers different, is that they have to guard the 7.32 X 2.44 gate all by themselves.

Football’s history is undoubtedly in debt to the many great goalkeepers who have made many memorable moments for all of us, some of which we may never forget.  Of course, Italian football and the

Serie A

history is not an exception, with the many great goalkeepers' names in its history. But who are these noteworthy names? In this article today, we will answer this question. Stay tuned to find out.

Greatest goalkeepers in Serie A history

From Gianluigi Buffon to Walter Zenga, Serie A has had many august goalkeepers to make the league’s moments much more interesting. Let’s keep on to know more about

the best goalkeepers in Serie A history

.

Gianluigi Donnarumma

  • Current team: P

    aris Saint-Germain

  • Other clubs:

    AC Milan

The current AC Milan player started his senior career with Rossoneri to be one of the bests in the history of Italian Serie A. Signing his first professional contract with Milan in March 2015,

Donnarumma

officially became a Rossoneri player in July 2015 and made his debut during Milan's pre-season tour of China in an International Champions Cup match against

Real Madrid

, the same month.

During his 6 years with the team, he managed to be not only one of AC Milan’s best goalkeepers but one of the bests in the top Italian league.

The 2016 Supercoppa Italiana, 2020 UEFA Euro Player and team of the Tournament title, and the 2019 Italian Golden Boy Award are only a few of the titles and achievements he earned during his presence at San Siro.

Samir Handanović

  • Current team:

    Inter Milan

  • Other clubs:

    Domžale, Zagorje (loan), Udinese, Treviso (loan), Lazio (loan), Rimini (loan)

Regarded as one of

the greatest Serie A goalkeepers of all time

,

Samir Handanović

started his professional career with Domžale, a Slovenian football club. Joining Udinese in 2004 to be a part of the Italian Serie A, he also saved the net for Zagorje, Treviso,

Lazio

, and Rimini on loan for a while.

Joining

Udinese

back, at the beginning of the 2007 season, the penalty-saving specialist stayed there for the next five years, before joining Inter Milan in 2012 for around €19.4m.

There he managed to become one of the team’s bests, also earning the captain’s title in 2019.

As one of only four non-Italian keepers to be named Serie A Goalkeeper of the Year, the Batman made his 500th Serie A appearance in February 2021 and earned a variety of titles during his time with I Nerazzurri, including the 2020–21 Serie A title, the2 021–22 Coppa Italia, the 2021 Supercoppa Italiana, three times Serie A Team of the Year, and much more.

Alisson Becker 

  • Current team:

    Liverpool

  • Other clubs:

    Internacional, Roma

The next name on our list of the best Serie A goalkeepers ever is

Alisson

, who is well known due to his brilliant performance at the Premier League club,

Liverpool

.

Starting his professional career in 2013 with Internacional, he became one of the team’s main players during his time at the club. Three years later

Alisson signed a pre-contract with Italian club Roma, signing a five-year deal for a €7.5 million fee.

Though his debut was made on 17 August 2016 in his team’s match against FC Porto in the UCL tournament, he did not that much a successful season later and failed to feature in any league fixtures, with only 15 appearances across all competitions. 

However, things turned differently for him, after the departure of Szczęsny. The Holy Goalie finally made his Serie A debut on the opening of the 2017–18 Serie A campaign, in their match against

Atalanta

, which was over in a 1-0 win.

Alisson went on to be one of the greatest goalkeepers in Roma history, playing a key role in Roma’s campaign in the 2017-18 UEFA Champion League tournament, helping his team reach the semi-finals.

It would be interesting to know that during that year’s UCL tournament, Roma didn't concede a single goal at the Stadio Olimpico until their match against Liverpool in the semi-finals, which caused their aggregate loss with a 7-6 result, although they actually won 4–2 on the night.

Though

Roma

did not become the UCL champions that season, they became UEFA Champions League Squad of the Season, while they were named the Serie A Team of the Year. Alisson also was honored as the Serie A Goalkeeper of the Year in 2017–18.

Gianluigi Buffon

  • Current team:

    Parma

  • Other clubs:

    Juventus, Paris Saint-Germain

Regarded as one of the

greatest goalkeepers of all time

, Gianluigi Buffon has been one of the most successful players in the history of football.

Starting his professional career in 1995 with Parma, he mostly saved the net for his national clubs, except for a short period, when he joined the French Parisians in 2018.

The current Parma goalkeeper has a long list of honors and achievements, with every team he has guarded the gate for, in addition to all the individual awards he has won.

It has to be mentioned that

Buffon

holds the record for the longest streak without conceding a goal in Serie A history.

Here is a brief list of the many titles and achievements Buffon has to his name: the FIFA World Cup in 2006, 12 times Serie A Goalkeeper of the Year, two times UEFA Club Goalkeeper of the Year, the 2002-03 UEFA Club Footballer of the Year, the 2017 footballer of the year, 2018-19 French Champion, two times Pallone Azzurro, the 2016-17 Serie A Footballer of the Year, five Coppa Italia titles, one UEFA Cup and many more.

Júlio César

  • Current team:

    Retired

  • Other clubs:

    Flamengo, Chievo, Inter Milan, Queens Park Rangers, Toronto FC (loan), Benfica, Flamengo

The next name on our list of the

best Serie A goalkeepers of all time

is

Júlio César

, who is best known for his time at Inter Milan.

Beginning his senior career in 1997 with the Brazilian club, Flamengo, César made his debut for the team in their match against Fluminense. During his eight years with “O mais querido do Brasil”, Cesar managed to win the 2001 Copa dos Campeões, four Campeonato Carioca titles, the 1999 Copa Mercosul, and the 1997 Copa dos Campeões Mundiais title, before joining Chievo in 2005. A club where Júlio César used a jumping stage before joining Inter Milan in 2005 on a €2.45 million deal.

With I Nerazzurri Cesar made his official debut on 10 August in their UCL qualifying third-round match against Shakhtar Donetsk, where he kept a clean sheet in their 2–0 victory and that was just the beginning of the brighter days to come. During Cesar’s seven years with Il Biscione, he managed to win five Scudetti, the 2009–10 UEFA Champions League, the 2010 FIFA Club World Cup, three Coppa Italia titles, and four Supercoppa Italiana titles. As for his individual awards, Cesar achieved the Serie A Goalkeeper of the Year title in 2009 and 2010.  He was also named UEFA Club Goalkeeper of the Year for the 2009–10 season and won the Golden Glove award at the 2013 Confederations Cup in addition to many more titles and achievements.

Angelo Peruzzi

  • Current team:

    Retired

  • Other clubs:

    Roma, Hellas Verona (loan), Juventus, Lazio

As a three-time winner of the “Serie A Goalkeeper of the Year” award,

Peruzzi

is with no doubt one of the best goalkeepers in the history of football.

Peruzzi first started playing football back in 1987, joining the Italian team, Roma, and he kept guarding the net for them for the next three years. Being mostly known for his appearance in Juventus, he joined the team in 1991 and went up the ladder of success in a blink of an eye!

During his eight years with I Bianconeri, Peruzzi not only added many individual titles to his resume but also helped his team achieve a lot.

Three Serie A titles, the 1994-95 Coppa Italia, the 1995–96 UEFA Champions League, the 1992–93 UEFA Cup, and the 1996 UEFA Super Cup are only a few of the many honors he earned back in that time. Departing from

Juventus

, Peruzzi joined Internazionale in 1999, and one year later joined Lazio as his last destination, before retiring in 2007. It is also worth mentioning that “Tyson” managed to win the 2003-04 Coppa Italia and the 2000 Supercoppa Italiana during his presence at Lazio.

Dida

  • Current team:

    Retired

  • Other clubs:

    Vitória, Cruzeiro, Lugano, Corinthians, AC Milan, Corinthians (loan), Portuguesa, Grêmio, Internacional

Mostly known for his performance in AC Milan, Dido began his professional career in 1992 with the Brazilian club, Vitoria, but in fact, his shining days began when he joined

AC Milan

in 2000. 

Despite joining Corinthians on loan from AC Milan in 2001, he was recalled by Milan for 2002–03 as a reserve, making his season debut on 14 August 2002. Being a substitute for Christian Abbiati in Milan’s match against Slovan Liberec in the UCL qualifiers, Dida’s performance resulted in the team’s 1-0 victory and hence earned him a promotion to become the team’s first choice. The rest of Dida’s time with AC Milan was brilliant. In fact, he managed to make the next eight years to be the most glorious era of his career, with many awards and achievements such as the 2003-04 Serie A title, the 2004 Supercoppa Italiana, 2002–03 and 2006–07 UEFA Champions League, the 2003 and 2007 UEFA Super Cup, and also the 2007 FIFA Club World Championship.

Time to know more about the last three names on our article about the

greatest Serie A goalkeepers of all time

.

Francesco Toldo

  • Current team:

    Retired

  • Other clubs:

    Milan, Hellas Verona (loan), Trento (loan), Ravenna (loan), Fiorentina, Inter Milan

To be remembered as one of the best Serie A goalkeepers ever, Francesco

Toldo

spent all his career in Italian football clubs, and he is most remembered for his performance at Fiorentina and Inter Milan. Beginning his career in 1990 by joining Milan he later joined Hellas Verona, Trento, and Ravenna on loan. In 1993 Toldo joined

Fiorentina

.

There he helped the club win the Serie B title and earn promotion to Serie A, also winning the Coppa Italia twice, and the Supercoppa Italiana. Interestingly in 2000, Toldo was named the Serie A Goalkeeper of the Year; a title he really deserved.

Eventually, Toldo joined Inter Milan in 2001, to stay with I Nerazzurri for the next nine years. There he managed to win five Serie A titles, three Coppa Italia titles, three Supercoppa Italiana titles, and the 2009–10 UEFA Champions League.

Dino Zoff

  • Current team:

    Retired

  • Other clubs:

    Udinese, Mantova, Napoli, Juventus

The next name on our list can be remembered not only as a brilliant Serie A player but also as a great manager, who dedicated all his professional life to Italian clubs and also the country’s national team. During his 22 years of professional club career,

Zoff

achieved many honors and achievements, both as a team and individual, especially during the time in which he saved the net for Juventus, where he won six Serie A titles, two Coppa Italia titles, and the 1976-77 UEFA Cup.

It would also be interesting to know that Zoff is the only Italian player to have won both the World Cup and the European Championship. No wonder he is amongst the best Serie A goalkeepers of all time. Don’t you agree?

Walter Zenga

  • Current team:

    Retired

  • Other clubs:

    Inter Milan, Salernitana (loan), Savona (loan), Sambenedettese (loan), Sampdoria, Padova, New England Revolution

More of a manager than a goalkeeper, the last name on our list is

Walter Zenga

, who has had his most memorable days at Inter Milan, the club he began his professional career with. Beginning his career in 1978 with I Nerazzurri, Zenga went on to save the net for them until 1994, when he joined Sampdoria, joining Padova, and New England Revolution later on. During his presence at San Siro, he also joined Salernitana, Savona, and Sambenedettese on loan, for short periods of time.

To mention a few of the brilliant player’s achievements we can mention the 1988–89 Serie A title, the 1989 Italian Super Cup, and the 1991 & 1994 UEFA Cup which he earned during his time with Inter Milan.

Individually also he managed to be named UEFA Goalkeeper of the Year in 1990, in addition to the many other titles he has been honored with.

And that was all on our article about the

best Serie A goalkeepers ever

. Are there any other names to be added to this list? Let us know in the comment section below.

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