If you had a chance to watch the MLS All-Stars play Bayern Munich in Portland, you had an opportunity to see some great goalkeeping, including some class stops from Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake). He was not alone, as we also saw Bill Hamid (DC United) and, for Bayern Munich, the great Manuel Neuer (if only briefly) and a fellow with the surname Starke.
While these men represents some of the best in the game today, only Manuel Neuer is gifted enough to make Myespnforkids.com first annual Top Keepers of All-Time list. Here are the rankings along with some rationale for each of them:
1. Lev Yashin: He was called the Black Spider because when you save everything, you must have eight arms. He was the only goalie to ever win European player of the year.
2. Gordon Banks: When he was in goal, the net was safer than the Bank of England. He is remembered for many things, including his downward header save against Pèle in the 1970 World Cup.
3. Peter Schmeichel: One of the best goalkeepers of all-time, Schmeichel’s crowning moment was captaining the Man United during their Champions League victory.
4. Sepp Maier: The German legend invented goalie gloves and went to four World Cups. Enough said.
5. Oliver Khan: Like Schmeichel, Khan is known best not for incredible saves, but for his incredible temper. Setting aside the fact that he was hotheaded, he was a consistent source of incredible saves for over a decade.
6. Peter Shilton: An incredible goalkeeper, he sadly will always be known for the so-called “Hand of God” goal scored against him in the World Cup. Maradona was a master and, among other things, moves Shilton to the back half of the list.
7. Gianluigi Buffon *: The first active player on my list, Buffon has started 4 World Cups and was bought for a record 52 million Euros in the Italian League, Series A.
8. Edwin Van der Star: The long-time number on of Man United, his main skill was organizing the defense. He also was capable of some of the best reflex saves in the modern era.
9. Iker Casillas *: An Incredbile goalie for Real Madrid and the Spanish national team, Iker will be remembered for winning Euro ‘08, the 2010 World Cup, and Euro 2012. He played biggest in the biggest matches on the biggest stages during the prime of his career (assuming you can get past a horrible defeat to Netherlands in the 2014 World Cup).
10. Manuel Neuer*: The youngest keeper on the list at just 28 years of age, Neuer is set to change the way we goalies play the game, with the perfection of the “sweeper-keeper.” Like the German auto industry, he brings the world-class consistency of a Mercedes and the innovation of a BMW. It should not surprise anyone to see Neuer move up this list in the years to come.
Some undoubtedly will wonder why current greats like Tim Howard are not on the list. As the asterisk denotes, there are some active players in the Top 10. But in the end, Everton’s Howard was not among them. Other, undoubtedly, will approve of the list, but be displeased with the order of the rankings. We only can say that the opinions here represent the thinking of just one man –writing from the mountains of Colorado.
Most importantly, we have a comments section for a reason (and not only for spam that should not be read by most kids. Yes, I am speaking to you “Free Viagra”). Let’s hear from the readers that are the lifeblood of myespenforkids.com.