Power Ranking the World's Top Keepers
Here we rank the top 11 goalkeepers in the world right now, based on current form.
Plenty of veteran shot-stoppers make the list, indicating that keepers really do get better with age.
Juventus legend Gianluigi Buffon can be regarded as one of the greatest custodians of all time, and while he is still performing at an excellent standard, due to the superb form of others, he only just scrapes into the top 11 this time around (and deserves to be mentioned, which is why the list goes to 11 instead of 10).
Iker Casillas, another great, misses out altogether due to his lack of game time in recent months, while Joe Hart would have been high on this list in the past, but he is currently enduring a period of low confidence and inconsistent displays. Sergio Romero, of Argentina, is another whose form has dipped slightly in the past six months, but would otherwise be pushing for a mention.
Others who would have been included on a slightly longer list are the likes of Diego Lopez, Salvatore Sirigu, David De Gea, Samir Handanovic, Vincent Enyeama, Marc-Andre ter Stegen and Asmir Begovic.
It is also worth noting that everyone here is playing club football in Europe (and in fact most are Europeans). Though there are some fine No. 1s playing around the world, and in South America especially, it is hard to argue that the Old Continent does not boast the creme de la creme in that position at the moment.
Here are the top 11 keepers in the world at the present time.
11. Gianluigi Buffon
Rivaling Dino Zoff as the finest custodian in the history of Italian football, Buffon has maintained his discipline, work ethic, stamina and cat-like reflexes well into his 30s.
Juve's defense this term has not looked as unimpeachable as in previous seasons, putting Buffon under more pressure, but the veteran still shows regularly that his phenomenal talent continues to shine bright.
10. Victor Valdes
With Casillas struggling for game time at Real Madrid, Victor Valdes' time might finally have arrived at the national team level.
The Barcelona man has performed consistently well for years now, but he is used to playing second fiddle to King Iker for Spain.
However, another excellent start to the season for Barcelona, where he has conceded just seven goals in 10 La Liga games, sees Valdes staking his claim for the No. 1 jersey in Brazil next year.
9. Hugo Lloris
Club: Tottenham Hotspur
France's man between the sticks has been highly regarded for some time now, though he seems to have taken his game to another level recently.
Commanding in his area and not afraid to take risks to protect his net, Hugo Lloris has kept six clean sheets in Tottenham's nine Premier League matches so far this season.
8. Petr Cech
After a mild dip in form following his head injury, Petr Cech in now back to his superlative best.
One of calmest and most dependable keepers in the business, there is no reason to believe the Czech giant won't continue to prove a headache to strikers for many more years to come.
7. Kossi Agassa
Club: Stade Reims
With 16 years of professional experience behind him, Kossi Agassa will certainly appreciate the purple patch of form he is going through right now for his club side Stade Reims.
According to Squawka.com, the Togolese's statistics for this season are outstanding.
He is averaging three saves per game, has kept four clean sheets and has pulled off 3.67 saves for every goal conceded.
6. Simon Mignolet
It was a surprise to many to see longtime custodian Pepe Reina move on loan to Napoli in the summer, but his Liverpool replacement, Simon Mignolet, has thrilled the faithful with a string of brilliant displays between the posts.
The Belgian international is committed, athletic and a superb shot-stopper who made a massive impression in his very first game for the club by saving a penalty and putting in an all-round excellent performance.
5. Pepe Reina
Club: Liverpool (on loan to Napoli)
A fan favorite at Anfield, Reina is now doing a sterling job of winning over the Napoli faithful by showing the same blend of composure and skill that he did for so many years for Liverpool.
He has saved Napoli's bacon on a number of occasions already this season, only allowing six goals in nine Serie A games and leading the southern team to second in the ladder.
4. Thibaut Courtois
Club: Chelsea (on loan at Atletico Madrid)
The youngest keeper on our list is endowed with an amazing amount of ability. There is no telling how good he could become.
Owned by Chelsea but playing on loan at Atletico, the Belgian prodigy has proved himself to be extremely tough to beat, helping Diego Simeone's side to second place on the La Liga table with some breathtaking glovework.
3. Artur Boruc
You may have noticed that Artur Boruc has been in phenomenal touch for Southampton this season, and his great work is reflected by his stats, according to a recent article in the Telegraph.
The charismatic Pole had the best save rate in the league, at an astonishing 90.48 percent, and has now kept the opposition scoreless in six games out of nine.
He's the form keeper of the EPL.
2. Manuel Neuer
Club: Bayern Munich
The next in a long line of wonderful German goalkeepers, Manuel Neuer is proving to be just as good as many of his illustrious predecessors.
As error-free as any keeper can be, the big Bayern shot-stopper also has a tremendous presence in the box and is technically brilliant to boot.
His club side are European champions and his national team will be one of the favorites at the World Cup in 2014, and Neuer is a key component in both squads.
1. Morgan De Sanctis
Another veteran who is enjoying the best period of his career, Morgan De Sanctis has been instrumental in Roma's fantastic undefeated start to Seria A in 2013/14.
The former Napoli man has only had to fish the ball out of his net once in nine league games, and according to Squawka.com, he has the kind of statistics that other keepers can only fantasize about; eight clean sheets and an average of one goal allowed for every five saves.
The Italian is currently chasing down the all-time Serie A record for minutes without conceding.
Ivan Pelizzoli holds that mark with 774 minutes unbeaten, while De Sanctis has currently gone 591 minutes without a goal.
He has often looked impossible to beat this season, so few would bet against him claiming the record as his own in two games' time.