Soccer: Ranking the Top 10 Penalty-Stopping Goalkeepers in the World

Andrew Jordan@@Andrew_JordanSenior Writer IApril 5, 2011

Soccer: Ranking the Top 10 Penalty-Stopping Goalkeepers in the World

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    MONACO - AUGUST 27:  David de Gea of Atletico saves a penalty from Diego Milito of Inter during the UEFA Super Cup match between Inter Milan and Atletico Madrid at Louis II Stadium on August 27, 2010 in Monaco, Monaco.  (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Imag
    Michael Steele/Getty Images

    Arguably the most important position on the pitch, a goalkeeper is often called upon to come up big in massive situations.

    For a goalkeeper, often the most important stressful part of the job comes in the form of stopping penalties.

    With this in mind, here is a list of the ten best penalty stoppers in the world today.

1. Oleksandr Shovkovskiy

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    LEIPZIG, GERMANY - JUNE 14: Oleksandr Shovkovskyi of Ukraine makes a save during the FIFA World Cup Germany 2006 Group H match between Spain and Ukraine played at the Zentralstadion on June 14, 2006 in Leipzig, Germany. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Ima
    Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

    In the 2006 World Cup, Ukrainian goalkeeper Oleksandr Shovkovskiy became the first goalkeeper in World Cup history to not allow a goal in a penalty shootout in a round of 16 matchup against Switzerland.

    Since 1993, Shovkovskiy has been the top goalkeeper for Dynamo Kiev and has won 12 Ukrainian Premier League titles. 

2. Robert Green

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    LONDON - NOVEMBER 25:  Robert Green of West Ham saves a penalty during the Barclays Premier League match between West Ham United and Tottenham Hotspur at Upton Park on November 25, 2007 in London, England.  (Photo by Hamish Blair/Getty Images)
    Hamish Blair/Getty Images

    Robert Green has had a successful past in terms of stopping penalties.

    In the 2007-2008 Premier League season, Green stopped the first three penalties that he saw, and has continued to be huge for West Ham as they try to stay up this season.

3. Jens Lehmann

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    BERLIN - JUNE 30:  Jens Lehmann of Germany dives to save a penalty taken by Roberto Ayala of Argentina in a penalty shootout during the FIFA World Cup Germany 2006 Quarter-final match between Germany and Argentina played at the Olympic Stadium on June 30,
    Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

    Now that he is an active player again for Arsenal, Jens Lehmann is able to make this list following the infamous quarterfinal penalty shootout in the 2006 World Cup.

    Aided by a note that he kept in his sock telling where each of the Argentine players was supposed to shoot, Lehmann was able to stop two of the penalties and Germany reached the semifinals.

4. Brad Friedel

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    DAEGU - JUNE 10:  Brad Friedel of the USA saves a penalty from Eul Yong Lee of South Korea during the FIFA World Cup Finals 2002 Group D match played at the Daegu World Cup Stadium, in Daegu, South Korea on June 10, 2002. The match ended in a 1-1 draw. DI
    Ben Radford/Getty Images

    Nicknamed "the human wall," Brad Friedel made his mark on penalties back in the 2002 World Cup, stopping two penalties in the group stage and becoming the first goalkeeper to stop two penalties in the group stage of the World Cup since 1974.

    Since then, Friedel has continued to come up huge for Aston Villa and has the most consecutive starts in Premier League history.

5. Tim Howard

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    LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 19:  Tim Howard of Everton saves a penalty from Dimitar Berbatov of Manchester United in the shoot out during the FA Cup sponsored by E.ON Semi Final match between Everton and Manchester United at Wembley Stadium on April 19, 2009
    Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

    The American goalkeeper has made a huge mark with Everton when it comes to penalty shootouts.

    In the last three seasons, Howard has beaten both Manchester United and Chelsea on penalty shootouts in the FA Cup, and he has also came up huge in multiple penalty situations over the last several years. 

6. Gianluigi Buffon

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    ZURICH, SWITZERLAND - JUNE 13:  Goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon (#1) of Italy saves the penalty taken by Adrian Mutu of Romania during the UEFA EURO 2008 Group C match between Italy and Romania at Letzigrund Stadion on June 13, 2008 in Zurich, Switzerland.  (
    Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

    Long considered to be the best goalkeeper in the world, Gianluigi Buffon has found himself in some massive penalty situations throughout the years.

    Buffon's biggest penalty save probably came in Euro 2008, where he was able to stop a penalty from Adrian Mutu to keep Italy in the tournament and deny Romania a historic win.

7. Petr Cech

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    LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 19:  Petr Cech of Chelsea saves the penalty of Leighton Baines of Everton in the penalty shootout during the FA Cup sponsored by E.ON 4th round replay match between Chelsea and Everton at Stamford Bridge on February 19, 2011 in
    Jamie McDonald/Getty Images

    A huge goalkeeper throughout the years, Petr Cech has helped Chelsea in multiple penalty shootouts.

    Cech was able to help Chelsea win multiple penalty shootouts, and his penalty save on Kevin-Prince Boateng proved to be the difference for Chelsea as they completed the double.

8. Pepe Reina

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    LIVERPOOL, UNITED KINGDOM - MAY 01:  Pepe Reina of Liverpool saves the penalty from Geremi (#14) of Chelsea during the UEFA Champions League semi final second leg match between Liverpool and Chelsea at Anfield on May 1, 2007 in Liverpool, England.  (Photo
    Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

    One of the best penalty stoppers the Premier League has ever seen, Pepe Reina has came up huge in his career in terms of penalties.

    Reina was able to stop three out of four penalties in the 2007 FA Cup final and two out of three against Chelsea in the Champions League semifinal during the same year to enforce his amazing record.

9. Edwin Van Der Sar

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    MOSCOW - MAY 21:  Edwin Van der Sar of Manchester United saves the penalty attempt from Ncolas Anelka of Chelsea to win during the UEFA Champions League Final match between Manchester United and Chelsea at the Luzhniki Stadium on May 21, 2008 in Moscow, R
    Jamie McDonald/Getty Images

    One of the greatest goalkeepers in recent years, Edwin Van der Sar has played great in penalty shootouts throughout his career.

    Van der Sar has won a penalty shootout for the Dutch in Euro 2004, stopped three straight penalties in the 2007 Community Shield, and stopped Nicolas Anelka in the 2008 Champions League final to win Manchester United the Champions League.

10 Iker Casillas

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    VIENNA, AUSTRIA - JUNE 22:  Goalkeeper Iker Casillas of Spain saves a penalty during the UEFA EURO 2008 Quarter Final match between Spain and Italy at Ernst Happel Stadion on June 22, 2008 in Vienna, Austria.  (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)
    Clive Mason/Getty Images

    Currently the best goalkeeper in the world, Iker Casillas has been clutch in penalties throughout his career.

    In Euro 2008, Casillas was able to stop Italy twice to help Spain advance to a Euro 2008 title, and he stopped Paraguay's Oscar Cardoza in the 2010 World Cup quarterfinal as Spain went on to win the World Cup.