When it comes to statistics, world football trails the likes of baseball and gridiron football by an age. This is especially true at the goalkeeping position, where meaningful metrics for measuring performance and form are not readily available and seldom cited at all. And in the absence of statistics we typically revert to platitudes such as “good shot-stopper” or lazily disregard anyone who doesn’t represent a fashionable team near the top of the table.
The following slides reveal the goalkeepers who are, in my opinion, the top five in the world at present. Some of the big names you’re likely expecting to see have been left out, having failed to make the cut. My criteria for the ranking: performance in the current season, backed up by both statistics and my own gut feelings.
Popularity, salaries and the clubs they play for have been omitted from the equation in favour of merit. After all, we’re picking the top five goalkeepers in world football, not the England team.