World Football: 10 Best Saves in the World This Season
The football world is a magical place. Full of wonder, great players and incredible feats.
By this stage, the entire football world has been up and running for at least two to three months.
The Premier League, La Liga, Serie A, Bundesliga and international football calender are in full swing, World Cup qualification has finally started and the Champions League has made its welcome return.
What does that mean for the fans?
It means goals!
Crucially, it also means great saves.
Reaction, bravery, athleticism and incredible dives—they all come from the most technical, athletic and most underrated position in any sport.
Let's take a look at 10 of the best saves to grace our screens so far this season.
Simon Mignolet vs. West Ham (September 22, 2012)
Simon Mignolet, much like many of his Belgian international teammates, is developing an impressive reputation as one of the Premier League's best goalkeepers.
The Sunderland shot-stopper was in imperious form as the Black Cats travelled to the Boleyn Ground to take on Sam Allardyce's West Ham.
With this incredible save, he showed exactly why he is becoming one of the most talked about goalies in the game.
Asmir Begovic vs. Manchester City (September 15, 2012)
Asmir Begovic is, without doubt, one of the best keepers in the world today. The highly underrated Bosnian international is one of the main reasons that Stoke City have become such a hard side to beat over the last year or two.
In this save against Premier League champions Manchester City, Begovic displayed the kind of reactions needed to play at the highest level.
In doing so, he reminded us of this incredible save from 1970.
David De Gea vs. Everton (August 20, 2012)
The Toffees absolutely hammered Sir Alex Ferguson's team.
Were it not for David de Gea, who put in a Man of the Match performance, the game would have almost gone into double figures.
The Spaniard made a number of impressive saves, but look for his diving one-handed save to keep Leighton Baines' late free kick out of the top corner. Simply incredible.
Iker Casillas vs. Valencia (August 19, 2012)
Valencia held Real Madrid to a 1-1 draw at the Santiago Bernabeu in the opening game of the season.
Were it not for this stunning double save from Iker Casillas, it could have been so much different.
David De Gea vs. Newcastle (October 7, 2012)
David de Gea makes his second appearance on the list with this phenomenal stop to keep Papiss Cisse's diving header from finding the back of the net.
The young Spaniard had no earthly right to even make an attempt to stop the ball from crossing the line.
However, through sheer determination, incredible reflexes and a bit of luck, he somehow kept the ball out—as the replay proves.
Michael Agazzi vs. Palermo (September 15, 2012)
Michael Agazzi is not the first name that comes to mind when it comes to the best goalkeepers in the world.
Yet, the 6'2" Calgiari shot-stopper has a growing army of admirers after a number of great saves in Serie A.
Was this a great save or total fluke? The debate still hasn't been settled
One thing is for sure—the shot was saved in the most unorthodox of manners.
Anders Lindegaard vs. Tottenham Hotspur Reserves
If David de Gea played so well against Everton and Newcastle, you must be wondering why he has only featured in three Premier League games so far this season.
The man who has appeared in the other four games, of course, in none other than Anders Lindergaard.
The Danish keeper has really stepped up to the plate this season for the Red Devils and is going to fight for his position for every single game.
Here, he pulls off a superb double save that displays incredible timing, great strength and superb reflexes all in the space of one second.
Marcelo Lomba vs. Flamengo (October 4, 2012)
If Anders Lindegaard can do a double save, say hello to Marcelo Lomba, who makes an even more incredible triple save!
Hope Solo vs. Canada (June 30, 2012)
On June 30, 2012, the U.S. women's national team played out an entertaining 2-1 win over Canada.
Few would have thought this game would be a precursor to the best and most entertaining soccer match of 2012.
While Hope Solo's save is technically right on the border between this season and last, there can be little doubt that it is among the best saves of 2012, if not the best.
Joe Hart vs. Roman Weidenfeller Virtuoso Champions League Performances
I've been raking through the old gray matter to come up with a match in which both goalkeepers were as good as Joe Hart and Roman Weidenfeller were in a recent 1-1 draw between Manchester City and Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League.
The truth is, I really can't think of any that were this good.
Hart and Weidenfeller could have filled this top 10 list all by themselves after putting in two of the best goalkeeping performances we are likely to see in the world this year.
Bonus Save: Joe Hart vs. Steven Gerrard at England Training
Just because he is so good, here's another in a long list of great saves by Joe Hart.
While training with England, the Citizens keeper made a brilliant save to stop a Steven Gerrard effort that looked like it was about to catch fire.
Bonus Save: GAA Goalkeeper Shane Connolly vs. Cork
I know this is not a football save.
Gaelic Football is basically a mixture of Australian Rules Football and soccer, and this save from Kildare's Shane Connolly in the All-Ireland Quarter-finals against Cork is brilliant in any code.