11 Goalkeepers Who Could Play Other Positions
Galatasaray midfielder Felipe Melo recently saved a penalty for his side. Despite the superb effort, it was humorous to witness the Brazilian's distinct lack of technical ability between the posts.
Let's flip the roles a second. Outfield players make traditionally bad goalkeepers—but what if the glove-wearing specialists were to take up a new position?
I've considered exactly that. Read on to discover 11 keepers who could easily adapt to a fresh challenge throughout their career.
Enjoy the article!
Position: Centre Forward
Ah, Big Pete. Best known for his legendary spell at Manchester United, the Great Dane was more than an excellent shot stopper. He also made a name for himself scoring ridiculous goals.
Both are examples of ridiculous technique that goalkeepers aren't famed for possessing. The red-nosed assassin could have been an effective centre forward with finishing like that, and of course, also for his physicality.
David De Gea
From a former Red Devil to a current Red Devil. David De Gea is often criticised for his inability to deal with high balls and crosses—so why not consider a career change?
The Spanish stopper is more than capable with his feet. His distribution off the floor is usually clean and accurate, allowing United to spread play quickly across the pitch.
The 22-year-old isn't afraid to outfox opponents directly, and De Gea's lack of weight and decent height would make a hilariously gangly winger.
Jose Manuel Pinto
Position: Defensive Midfield
Pinto is one of football's real comedy characters. The 37-year-old is amazingly cocky for someone who has made just 48 appearances since joining Barcelona in 2007.
Most of these performances have come in the Copa Del Rey—a competition the veteran keeper has been fortunate enough to win twice.
The long haired numpty signed for Barcelona to warm the bench. Pinto has always known he is there to deputise when Victor Valdes is sidelined. Perhaps this is why he makes the most of being on the pitch.
Even when he isn't on the pitch, Pinto likes to make an impression. He decided to get himself sent off in the 2011 Champions League semi-final against Real Madrid before setting foot onto the turf (via Yahoo! Sports).
His big-headed attitude is oddly endearing. There's no doubt Pinto would be one of the greatest midfielders of the generation if he was given a shot out on pitch. His ability to dribble around opponents and get sent off in huge matches makes him a perfect fit for the Sergio Busquets' role.
As he heads towards the ripe old age of 40, the eternal nuisance could plant himself on the centre spot and make rude gestures at his rivals.
Jose Luis Chilavert
Position: Central Midfield
It saddens me that many of today's youngsters will be oblivious to Chilavert's glories. This is a man—hell, a machine—who scored over 50 goals in his professional career. Eight of these came for Paraguay on the international stage, propelling the unlikely star to global fame.
Free kicks and penalties were Chilavert's specialty. His powerful blasts often amounted to vital goals—a feat that went straight to the keeper's head. The fiery Paraguayan often made mistakes towards the end of his career, and is remembered for punching Colombia's Tino Asprilla in the face.
A combination of his exquisite accuracy, raw power and tendency to flip out would have made Chilavert a combatant central midfielder—think Roy Keane with David Beckham's set-piece ability.
Position: Centre back
"Fee-fi-fo-fum! I smell the blood of an Englishman!"
Many believe Jack and the Beanstalk took inspiration from Asmir Begovic's giant stature. At 463 centimeters tall, he is the only man to have stood on the Brittania Stadium's pitch and seen the local chippy at the same time. Stoke City's plans to add a roof onto the ground were halted when Begovic signed in 2010.
With Ryan Shawcross and Robert Huth ahead of him, the colossal Bosnian knows what it takes to be a successful centre back. If one of these behemoths ever gets injured, Begovic's physicality should be pushed forward a few meters.
Tony Pulis will be delighted with Begovic's eight clean sheets in 16 Premier League games this season, although he won't be able to tell the keeper to his face.
Jorge Campos played as a striker in his early career. In 1988, he scored 14 goals for Mexican side Pumas—challenging for the league's top scorer accolade.
The silly Mexican was also rather good with his hands. What do you get if you combine his desire to score and stop goals? Complete and utter ridiculousness.
An amazing clash of styles was only bettered by Campos' horrific kits. Of course, he designed these monstrosities himself (via The Independent). If the goalkeeper's mindless sense of positioning didn't put the opposition off, his expressive shirt patterns certainly did.
Position: Centre Forward
Joe Hart wanted to be a striker in his early days. Everything about the Manchester City keeper indicates as such, and his dramatic goal celebrations suggest he is a man who has practiced going absolutely mental once or twice.
As the video shows, he nearly scored one of the most important goals in City's history. Hart's leaping header could have saved Roberto Mancini's quest for the Europa League, but it wasn't to be.
The England No.1 has often been fooled by brilliant strikers. Wayne Rooney and Zlatan Ibrahimovic have both scored classic bicycle kicks against the helpless keeper. Not one to be outdone, Hart recently matched these goals with a tasty strike of his own.
Position: Full back
I question Paddy Kenny's right to be a professional footballer every time he appears on television. I wonder how such a cruel man has made it to the pinnacle of sport. Forgetting his rant at former teammate Rob Green (via The Daily Mail), all my queries are put aside when I see the video above.
Any player who feels a kung fu kick is appropriate should probably not be put in charge of keeping goal.
Kenny would make an excellent full back, especially if he wasn't expected to bomb up the wings. The 34-year-old is known to possess the stamina and speed of a malnourished sloth—making him a suitable candidate for any position where he can smash into tricky opponents at will.
Like Chilavert, Mr. Ceni is also known as something of a goalscorer. In fact, the Sao Paulo player is the only goalkeeper to have scored over 100 goals in professional football—overtaking the unbelievable stats of his Paraguayan counterpart.
Forget Roberto Carlos, Ronaldinho and Juninho, Brazil churns out superstars who regularly score set pieces by the dozen—but Ceni deserves special credit for his achievements. Sit back and watch that video and witness his pristine technique, Beckham-like stance and pinpoint accuracy.
Ceni's celebrations are also rather heartwarming. Never has a man not known how to react quite like the 39-year-old legend.
Michel Vorm follows the modern trend of goalkeepers who are—believe it or not—good at football. Swansea City heavily rely on the Dutchman's ability to distribute the ball with his feet. The Premier League side often retain possession by utilising the goalkeeper's skillful passing and excellent vision.
The 29-year-old also has one hell of a dive on him. He'd be excellent at sprinting down the wings, playing a key pass and supporting strikers with a run into the box. Here, he could throw himself to the ground in dramatic fashion before stepping up to take the consequent penalty.
Position: Anywhere he likes
Rene Higuita doesn't stick to conventional positioning, and he can't be tamed by the white lines of a football pitch.
If the Colombian wants to run halfway up the field, nobody is stopping him. If he wants to slide tackle somebody outside the box—especially when his goal isn't in danger—you better watch and learn.
As usual, there really aren't many words that can do Higuita justice. El Loco deserves your full attention. This article pales in comparison to his wondrous skill set. What's the point of standing around in goal all day when you can be the sport's ultimate oddball instead?
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