Every football team needs a good keeper in order to be successful. You could have Messi, Ronaldo, and Neymar up front, but if you’ve got a terrible goalie between the sticks, you’re not going to win a lot of games.
It takes a myriad of skills to be a successful goalkeeper, from quick reactions and smart footwork to high levels of confidence and strong mentalities, and goalies can go from being on top of the world to down in the dumps in a shockingly short amount of time if their mental game takes a hit – just ask Joe Hart.
Keepers are often overlooked when it comes time to hand out individual awards, but they’re some of the most important people on the pitch, especially at big tournaments like the World Cup, where legendary goalkeepers like Gianluigi Buffon, Fabien Barthez, and Gordon Banks all proved integral to their team’s historic victories.
There’ll be plenty of goalkeeping talent on display at this summer’s tournament. Each of these men will have an enormous amount of pressure on their shoulders, especially if a game comes down to a penalty shootout, but they’re the best of the best for a reason and know exactly how to handle high pressure situations.