Champions League 2012: 3 Goalkeepers Who Will Carry Their Teams Far

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Champions League 2012: 3 Goalkeepers Who Will Carry Their Teams Far
Shaun Botterill/Getty Images
The best in the world.

Leo Messi? Cristiano Ronaldo?

In this list of key players in the Champions League, the two best soccer players in the world won't be on the list. It will, in fact, be three goalkeepers whose job is to prevent the other teams from scoring. 

The saying in hockey goes "the hot goalie will lead its team to the Stanley Cup." It doesn't really matter how or what they have done in the regular season as long as they can turn the switch on when the saves count for just a bit more. 

These three goalkeepers can turn on that proverbial switch and carry their respective teams to the big game. 

 

Petr Cech

Nothing can stop Petr Cech, not even a fractured skull—suffered in 2006 against Reading's Stephen Hunt. 

With Chelsea already boasting a solid defense, Cech on the back end only makes the task of scoring unfair for the opposition. 

Not only did his team win the Champions League last year, but he has helped his club win three Premier League Finals before that. 

To fully appreciate how good he is, in preparation for a game against Bayern in 2007, he studied every single penalty

Pure dedication and that is why he leads Chelsea into the Champions League as one of the favorites. 

Stu Forster/Getty Images
Joe Hart has quickly become one of the world's best, Hart will look to carry his team out of a group with Ajax, Real Madrid and Borussia Dortmund.

 

Joe Hart

In a poll done by Goal.com, Joe Hart was ranked as the second best goalkeeper in the world. 

Even though the great Cech ranks first, he has competition behind him as Hart has gotten off to a great start in the Champions League. 

It also doesn't hurt that one of the top players in the world, Wayne Rooney, claims Hart to be the best. After Hart was able to deny Dortmund from scoring their second goal to claim a tie, Rooney may not be far off. 

Not only did Manchester City escape defeat despite being outplayed all game long, they kept themselves alive in their Champions League group.

An up-and-coming goalkeeper like Hart may be what Manchester needs to lead itself into  a dream matchup with Cech and Chelsea. 

 

Andrei Gorbunov 

Playing for BATE Borisov, Gorbunov isn't the household name the latter two goalkeepers are in the Champions League. 

However, he has been just as effective in keeping 17 clean sheets in 31 previous games. 

While he was supposed to be dominated in his two Champions League matchups, he has made 12 saves in two huge upsets against Lille and Bayern Munich. 

If that's not putting the team on your back, I don't know what is. 

Keep in mind the two elite goalkeepers and the sleeper BATE squad led by Gorbunov when looking for top-notch keepers. 

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