From Oliver Kahn to Gianluigi Buffon, the best goalies in the world seem to combine both a sharp focus and consistent work ethic that guarantee their longevity. Here are some of the best goalies from the 2000s.
An 8-time German Champion along with six DFB cups, a UEFA Cup, and Champions League trophy to his name, 6’2 Oliver Kahn aka ‘Der Titan’ holds the record for Bayern Munich club appearances at 632. He’s also the only goalkeeper to ever win the Golden Ball at the FIFA World Cup where he led his team to second and third place finishes.
UEFA Goalkeeper of the Year in 1997 and 2006, the German goalie Jens Lehmann has extended his mastery between the goal posts at the club level for 23 years. From the Bundesliga to Arsenal, he’s earned a reputation for astonishing saves that won him a Premier League title, an FA Cup, and UEFA Champions League runner-up.
The Spanish goalkeeper Iker Casillas spent 16 years as a dependable and consistent shot blocker between the posts. Casillas went on to make 725 appearances with Real Madrid where he loaded up the trophy case with five Spanish League championships, four Spanish Super Cups, two Copa Del Rey’s and two UEFA Super Cups. He also protected the net for Spain on their way to winning the World Cup in 2010.
The first recipient of the Premier League Golden Glove award, Petr Čech set a single-season record of 24 clean sheets for The Blues during the 2004-05 season. After returning from a horrific incident in a 2006 match that left him with a fractured skull, he sported a trademark helmet that saw him lift Champions League, four League titles, and four FA Cups.
With 176 appearances, Gianluigi Buffon is Italy’s most capped player of all-time. He recorded a record five clean sheets during Italy’s road to the World Cup trophy in 2006. Buffon also has over 500 appearances in the Juventus kit in which he helped win the team 9 Serie A titles and 5 Coppa Italia titles.
Signed in 1990 by then Arsenal coach George Graham, David Seaman went on to win the 1990-91 league title while conceding just 18 goals all season. He won the Double twice after that with Arsene Wenger at the helm, in both the 1998 and 2002 seasons. He also started in goalie for the England national team, playing in two World Cups.
Edwin Van Der Sar
The commanding goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar was once the most capped player The Netherlands with 130 appearances. The former Dutch footballer of the year helped take the national side all the way to two Euro semifinals, in 2000 and 2004 and one World Cup semi-final where they lost to Brazil in penalty kicks.
An impenetrable barrier between the two goal posts for club and country, Victor Valdes played 535 games for the Barcelona side where he won a plethora of silverware including six La Liga titles, two Copa del Rey, and three Champions League trophies. He also played on the national team that won the World Cup in 2010.
The authoritative presence of Julio Cesar protected the goal posts for Inter’s five consecutive Scudetti from 2005 – 2010, culminating with the Treble in 2010’s Champions League victory. With over 300 caps for Internazionale, including a Ballon d’Or nomination, the athletic and shot-stopping Brazilian has a trophy vault worth of memories.
With superb reflexes and ball distribution, Hugo Lloris won Goalkeeper of the Year in Ligue 1 for three consecutive seasons before moving to the Premier League to start for Tottenham. The French goalie featured for the French side that won the World Cup in 2018.
The imperious goalie Tim Howard played 15 years with the US national team, earning 121 caps. He also became the first American to win an FA Cup after playing for Manchester United for four years. He still holds the all-time most clean for Everton whom he played for in 414 appearances.