As many football fans would know and gladly point out, the goalkeeper is an integral part of any team. Sure, he may not contribute to scoring goals, but he is the final line of defence literally standing in between an opposing team and the back of the net. Needless to say, a keeper with good, solid, steady hands is a must in any football club.
Indeed, the Premier League has had its share of phenomenal shot-stoppers over the years. Here we celebrate the five best of the best.
5. Brad Friedel
A United States national team icon, Brad Friedel was one of the most level-headed and trusty goalkeepers during his day. The American started his Premier League career with Liverpool back in 1997 after stints in Denmark, Turkey, and the United States. Since then, he has made over 450 appearances, playing for the likes of Blackburn, Aston Villa, and Tottenham Hotspur – keeping 132 clean sheets.
A well-respected footballer, the veteran played for Spurs back during the 2011-12 season at the age of 41.
4. Joe Hart
When it comes to keepers playing with passion, not many come close to the dedication of Joe Hart. Given faith by then Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini, the Shrewsbury native went on to become one of the most influential players in the Citizen’s recent history, playing a crucial role in the club’s first-ever English top-flight title win in 44 years during the 2011-12 season. Hart kept the most clean sheets that season.
His overall clean sheets record is 119 over a span of 302 games, averaging a clean sheet every three games.
3. Edwin van der Sar
A Manchester United goalkeeper joins the list, and this time it’s the ever-reliable Edwin van der Sar. Unlike team stalwert Schmeichel, van der Sar was a more relaxed, stoic figure in between the sticks. Cool and calm under pressure, the Dutch shot-stopper was one of the most trusty keepers during his heyday. Indeed, he is the holder of the world clean sheet record, not conceding a goal for 1,311 consecutive minutes.
In the Premier League, he has kept 134 clean sheets over a span of 314 games, playing for Fulham and United.
2. Peter Schmeichel
This Manchester United legend is surely one of the best keepers of his generation. Possessing a solid command of his area, he was able to pull off save after save in his long and decorated career. Indeed, he has managed to keep a total 129 clean sheets in the Premier League for three different teams during his career: Aston Villa, Manchester City, and Manchester United.
A combative, unrelenting goalkeeper, he was definitely a keeper that could prove crucial for any team.
1. Petr Cech
Arsenal’s renowned goalkeeper Petr Cech being on the top of this list should be of no surprise to anyone. Currently the Premier League’s record holder of the most clean sheets with 186 – a record he acquired just last season – Cech has proven time and again it takes a lot of effort to get a ball past him. He has made over 696 appearances throughout his career, every time playing well to keep his side up and over the opposing team.
He is also the quickest to reach 100 Premier League clean sheets, having done so in just 180 league appearances.