The World Cup always serves as a stage for goalkeepers to make a name for themselves – think Keylor Navas, David Ospina, and Guillermo Ochoa at the last edition – but this summer has seen some established shot-stoppers enhance or restore their reputations.
Thibaut Courtois‘ displays for Belgium are a case in point, as the keeper has recovered from a middling season to re-establish himself as one of the best at his position again, winning the tournament’s Golden Glove award.
The Chelsea man tops our World Cup goalkeeping rankings – here’s a look at our full top five.
1. Thibaut Courtois, Belgium
Courtois has bounced back after a season in England which saw critics sharpen their knives as he looked short of the form that had marked him out as one of the world’s best.
He’s been the outstanding keeper at the World Cup, producing several brilliant saves along the way, not least in Belgium’s big quarter-final win over Brazil against Neymar in the dying minutes.
2. Hugo Lloris, France
Hugo Lloris has alternated between solid and spectacular this summer, providing a reliable presence as France’s last line of defence and producing some vital saves along the way.
The stunning diving stop he made in the semi-final against Belgium to deny Toby Alderweireld and preserve France’s 1-0 lead, could end up counting as a World Cup-winning save – and should hopefully overshadow his howler in the final.
3. Danijel Subasic, Croatia
Until the World Cup final, Croatia had conceded only five goals all tournament, with Subasic standing firm behind a resilient defence.
His heroics in two straight penalty shootouts, against Denmark and Russia, will never be forgotten in Croatia, even if the Monaco man was unable to punctuate those two performances with a career highlight. The toe of his boot on several further looks also denied Harry Kane in the semi-final.
4. Jordan Pickford, England
England’s surprise run to the semi-finals has seen Pickford’s reputation grow immensely, after a season where his form at Everton was at times at questionable.
He produced some wonderful saves throughout the tournament and denied Carlos Bacca from the spot to end help end England’s penalty hoodoo. That and his distribution was key to England’s play.
5. Kasper Schmeichel, Denmark
Kasper Schmeichel was unfortunate to end the Round of 16 tie against Croatia on the losing side, because his performance up to that game, and in it, had been excellent. He saved a penalty from Luka Modric during that game, and then produced more saves in the penalty shootout, only for Subasic to upstage him.
Still, the Leicester stopper’s performances only confirmed his status as one of Europe’s leading goalkeepers.
Know more about Sport360 Application