Marc-Andre ter Stegen and 5 World Football Goalies on the Rise
Being a goalkeeper has got to be one of the most stressful jobs on the planet. Any one game can be decided based on your performance.
Pull off the fingertip save and you're a hero. Let the ball slip between your legs and you're the scapegoat.
The following keepers have really stepped up to the challenge of leading their respective teams between the pipes and are enjoying a rise in exposure and expectation.
Here are five goalies who are on the rise on the world football scene.
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Vito Mannone has been in the backup ranks at Arsenal for a while now, ranking behind No. 1 Wojciech Szczesny and competing with Lukasz Fabianski and Manuel Almunia for the backup spot.
With Szczesny out with an injury, Mannone has been deputizing for Arsenal and has risen to the challenge.
Mannone hasn't allowed a goal yet in league play and has been more impressive than Szczesny was prior to injury.
Arsenal fans will remember his clownish display in the Champions League last December against Olympiakos. Mannone tried to scissor-kick a bouncing ball out of his area, but completely missed and allowed the ball to roll into the net.
His performances this year have proved he is well past moments like those.
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Aston Villa's American keeper, Brad Guzan, has seemingly ousted Shay Given at Villa Park for the No. 1 spot.
Guzan put in a Man of the Match performance against Newcastle before the international break in a 1-1 draw, and was again integral in his team's first win of the season against Swansea in which he made several key saves.
After years of sitting on the bench, Guzan has finally made it to a No. 1 spot.
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Thibaut Courtois has enjoyed a meteoric rise to the top in Spain, putting forth sensational performances for Atletico Madrid last season.
On loan from Chelsea, the young Belgian keeper only allowed 45 goals in La Liga and was an integral part of Atletico's Europa League conquest.
With Petr Cech still around, Courtois will probably spend a lot of time on loan or on the bench. However, when Cech finally leaves, Courtois will take No. 1 responsibilities and thrive.
Stefanos Kapino, 18, is already being touted as one of the best young goalkeeping prospects in the world.
Last season, the young Greek keeper made 12 appearances in the Greek Super League for Panathinaikos, allowing 14 goals.
With Kapino in the net, Panathinaikos lost only once.
Kapino has already attracted interest from big clubs like Inter Milan, Manchester United and Arsenal, so expect to see this youngster play a bigger part on the world stage in the coming years.
Marc-Andre ter Stegen
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In a world in which Germany keeps churning out world-class goalkeepers, 20-year-old Marc-Andre ter Stegen has stood out for his ability at such a young age.
Ter Stegen was statistically one of the best players—if not the best—at his position in the Bundesliga last season. He allowed only 24 goals in 34 games and posted 15 shutouts in the league.
That's just insane.
With Manuel Neuer still producing magic between the pipes for Germany, it may be a while before we see the German prodigy put on German colors.
Until then, we can enjoy watching him shut out the entire Bundesliga.