Goalkeeper (association football)

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Former Spain goalkeeper Iker Casillas - the first goalkeeper ever to keep one hundred international clean sheets (UEFA Euro 2012) Iker Casillas Euro 2012 final 02.jpg
Former Spain goalkeeper Iker Casillas – the first goalkeeper ever to keep one hundred international clean sheets (UEFA Euro 2012)

The goalkeeper (sometimes written as goal-keeper, abbreviated as GK, keeper, keeps, or goalie) is a position in association football. It is the most specialised position in the sport. [1] The goalkeeper's main role is to stop the opposing team from scoring (putting the ball over the goal-line of the goal). This is accomplished by having the goalkeeper move into the trajectory of the ball to either catch it or direct it further from the vicinity of the goal line. Within the penalty area goalkeepers are allowed to use their hands, giving them (outside throw-ins) the sole rights on the field to handle the ball. The goalkeeper is indicated by wearing a different coloured kit from their teammates and opposition.


The back-pass rule is a rule that disallows handling passes back to keepers from teammates in most cases. Goalkeepers usually perform goal kicks, and also give commands to their defence during corner kicks, direct and indirect free kicks, and marking. Goalkeepers play an important role in directing on field strategy as they have an unrestricted view of the entire pitch, giving them a unique perspective on play development.

The goalkeeper is the only mandatory position of a team. If they are injured or sent off, another player must take their place. In order to replace a goalkeeper who is sent off, a team usually (but is not required to) brings on a substitute keeper in place of an outfield player to ensure they still play an outfield player down. If a team does not have a substitute goalkeeper, or they have already used all of their permitted substitutions for the match, an outfield player has to play as goalkeeper.

Because the position requires different skills from the outfielders, goalkeepers train separately from their teammates and often work with a goalkeeping coach to develop their play. [2] While outfielders typically must be in good cardiovascular shape to play up to 90 minutes in a match, a goalkeeper must be able to move quick and have fast feet for little bursts. During a match, goalkeepers may get a lot of action, usually in brief intervals, until their teammates can clear the ball out of the zone. During practice, goalkeepers focus heavily on footwork and being able to get up quickly after a save is made. It is important that a goalkeeper is able to get set, meaning feet shoulder width apart and on their toes, before the next shot comes their way, so they are able to react and make the save. [3]

As with all players, goalkeepers may wear any squad number, but the number 1 is almost always reserved for a team's first-choice goalkeeper. [4]


A goalkeeper (left, wearing a white shirt) being charged by a rival player (1905) Footb incident painting.jpg
A goalkeeper (left, wearing a white shirt) being charged by a rival player (1905)

Association football, like many sports, has experienced many changes in tactics resulting in the generation and elimination of different positions. Goalkeeper is the only position that is certain to have existed since the codification of the sport. Even in the early days of organised football, when systems were limited or non-existent and the main idea was for all players to attack and defend, teams had a designated member to play as the goalkeeper.

The earliest account of football teams with player positions comes from Richard Mulcaster in 1581 and does not specify goalkeepers. The earliest specific reference to keeping goal comes from Cornish Hurling in 1602. According to Carew: "they pitch two bushes in the ground, some eight or ten foot asunder; and directly against them, ten or twelve score off, other twayne in like distance, which they term their Goals. One of these is appointed by lots, to the one side, and the other to his adverse party. There is assigned for their guard, a couple of their best stopping Hurlers." [5] Other references to scoring goals begin in English literature in the early 17th century; for example, in John Day's play The Blind Beggar of Bethnal Green (performed c.1600; published 1659): "I'll play a gole at camp-ball" (an extremely violent variety of football, popular in East Anglia). Similarly, in a 1613 poem, Michael Drayton refers to "when the Ball to throw, And drive it to the Gole, in squadrons forth they goe". It seems inevitable that wherever a game has evolved goals, some form of goalkeeping must also be developed. David Wedderburn refers to what has been translated from Latin as to "keep goal" in 1633, though this does not necessarily imply a fixed goalkeeper position.

The word "goal-keeper" is used in the novel Tom Brown's School Days (published in 1857, but set in the 1830s). The author is here referring to an early form of rugby football:

You will see in the first place, that the sixth-form boy, who has the charge of goal, has spread his force (the goal-keepers) so as to occupy the whole space behind the goal-posts, at distances of about five yards apart; a safe and well-kept goal is the foundation of all good play. [6]

The word "goal-keeper" appeared in the Sheffield Rules of 1867, but the term did not refer to a designated player, but rather to "that player on the defending side who for the time being is nearest to his own goal". The goal-keeper, thus defined, did not enjoy any special handling privileges. [7]

The FA's first Laws of the Game of 1863 did not make any special provision for a goalkeeper, with any player being allowed to catch or knock-on the ball. [8] Handling the ball was completely forbidden (for all players) in 1870. [9] The next year, 1871, the laws were amended to introduce the goalkeeper and specify that the keeper was allowed to handle the ball "for the protection of his goal". [10] The restrictions on the ability of the goalkeeper to handle the ball were changed several times in subsequent revisions of the laws:

Initially, goalkeepers typically played between the goalposts and had limited mobility, except when trying to save opposition shots. Throughout the years, the role of the goalkeeper has evolved, due to the changes in systems of play, to become more active. The goalkeeper is the only player in association football allowed to use their hands to control the ball (other than when restarting play with a throw-in).

During the 1935–36 English football season, young Sunderland AFC goalkeeper of the team, Jimmy Thorpe, died as a result of a kick in the head and chest after he had picked up the ball following a backpass in a game against Chelsea at Roker Park. He continued to take part until the match finished, but collapsed at home afterwards and died in hospital four days later from diabetes mellitus and heart failure "accelerated by the rough usage of the opposing team". [16] The tragic end to Thorpe's career led to a change in the rules, where players were no longer allowed to raise their foot to a goalkeeper when he had control of the ball in his arms. [17]

Rules aimed at time-wasting

Due to several time-wasting techniques which were used by goalkeepers, such as bouncing the ball on the ground or throwing it in the air and then catching it again, in the 1960s, the Laws of the game were revised further, and the goalkeeper was given a maximum of four steps to travel while holding, bouncing or throwing the ball in the air and catching it again, without having to release it into play. The FIFA Board later also devised an anti-parrying rule, saying that such deliberate parrying for the purpose of evading the Law was to be regarded also as holding the ball. [18]

In 1992, the International Football Association Board made changes in the laws of the game that affected goalkeepers – notably the back-pass rule, [19] which prohibits goalkeepers from handling the ball when receiving a deliberate pass from a teammate that is made with their feet. This rule change was made to discourage time-wasting and overly defensive play after the 1990 FIFA World Cup which was described as exceedingly dull, rife with back-passing and goalkeepers holding the ball. Also, goalkeepers would frequently drop the ball and dribble it around, only to pick it up again once opponents came closer to put them under pressure, a typical time-wasting technique. Therefore, another rule was introduced at the same time as the back-pass rule. This rule prohibits goalkeepers from handling the ball again once the ball released for play; an offence results in an indirect free kick to the opposition. Furthermore, any player negating the spirit of the new rule would be likely to be cautioned for unsporting behaviour and punished by an indirect free-kick. [18]

On 1 July 1997, FIFA decided to extend the back-pass rule by applying it also to throw-ins from defenders to their own goalkeeper. In order to prevent further time-wasting, FIFA also established that if a goalkeeper holds the ball for more than six seconds the referee must adjudge this as time-wasting and award an indirect free-kick to the opposing team. In practice, this rule is rarely enforced: a 2019 study of 45 Bundesliga matches found the goalkeepers violating it in 38.4% of instances of ball handling, none of which were penalised. [20] An example of this rule being enforced in a high-profile match was at the London 2012 Summer Olympics Women's Football semi-final game between the United States and Canada. With Canada in front 3–2 late in the game, their goalkeeper Erin McLeod grabbed the ball from a corner kick then held onto it for 10 seconds despite being warned by the referee not to waste time. The indirect free kick resulted in a penalty being called for a handball offence, which was scored to make it 3–3 and take the game to extra time, where the United States won the game 4–3. [21]

Laws of the Game and general play

Maksym Koval (left) closes down Luis Suarez. Suarez Ajax captain.jpg
Maksym Koval (left) closes down Luis Suárez.

The position of goalkeeper is the only position in the game which is technically distinct from the others in the course of normal play. The Laws of the Game distinguish the goalkeeper from the other players in several ways, most significantly exempting them from the prohibition on handling the ball, though only within their own penalty area. [22] Once a goalkeeper has control of the ball in their hands, opponents are not permitted to challenge them. [22] Goalkeepers have a specialized role as the sole defender against a penalty kick. [22] Goalkeepers are required to wear distinct colors from other players, and are permitted to wear caps and tracksuit bottoms. [22]

The Laws mandate that one player on the team must be designated as the goalkeeper at all times, meaning that if a goalkeeper is sent off or injured and unable to continue, another player must assume the goalkeeper position. [22] The Laws allow for teams to change the player designated as goalkeeper at stoppages in play, [22] but in practice this is rarely exercised.

The Laws place no restrictions on a goalkeeper leaving their penalty area and acting as an ordinary player, though generally goalkeepers stay close to their goals throughout matches.

Goalkeepers routinely perform extension dives. To execute this, they push off the ground with the foot nearest to the ball, launching themselves into a horizontal position. At this point, the ball may be caught or parried away from the goal. In the latter case, a good goalkeeper will attempt to ensure that the rebound cannot be taken by a player of the opposing team, although this is not always possible.

Because goalkeepers can spend the majority of a match without much action they need very good concentration in the event of the opposition going on the attack at any one time. Goalkeepers also need good 'anticipation' meaning they can 'read' where the ball is going to go and react by moving before the ball is kicked or headed and quickly decide whenever to catch, punch or palm the ball.


Goalkeeper Destin Onka Malonga (right) making a save U20-WorldCup2007-Okotie-Onka edit2.jpg
Goalkeeper Destin Onka Malonga (right) making a save

The tactical responsibilities of goalkeepers include:

Although goalkeepers have special privileges, including the ability to handle the ball in the penalty area, they are otherwise subject to the same rules as any other player.

Playmaking and attack

Australian goalkeeper Mathew Ryan playing with his feet Mathew Ryan Club Brugge.jpg
Australian goalkeeper Mathew Ryan playing with his feet

Goalkeepers are not required to stay in the penalty area; they may get involved in play anywhere on the pitch, and it is common for them to act as an additional defender (or 'sweeper') during certain passages of the game. Goalkeepers with a long throwing range or accurate long-distance kicks may be able to quickly create attacking positions for a team and generate goal-scoring chances from defensive situations, a tactic known as the long ball.


Gyula Grosics from the Hungarian "Golden Team" of the 1950s was thought to be the first goalkeeper to play as the 'sweeper-keeper'. [24] Tommy Lawrence has also been credited with revolutionising the role of the goalkeeper by effectively acting as an 11th outfield player. [25] The rushing playing style used by Liverpool legend Bruce Grobbelaar seen during the 1980s–90s makes him one of the original sweeper-keepers of the modern era. [26] René Higuita was another who became known for his unorthodox, skillful but sometimes reckless techniques. [27] Manuel Neuer has been described as a sweeper-keeper due to his speed and unique style of play which occasionally includes him acting as a sweeper for his team by rushing off his line to anticipate opposing forwards who have beaten the offside trap. [28] [29] With his excellent ball control and distribution, which enables him to start plays from the back, [28] [29] he has said he could play in the German third division as a centre-back if he wanted to. [30] [31] Hugo Lloris of LAFC and France and former goalkeepers Fabien Barthez and Edwin van der Sar, have also been described as sweeper-keepers, [32] [33] while Claudio Bravo and Ederson Moraes have even been described as playmakers in the media. [34] [35] [36]

Other players who have been labelled "sweeper-keepers" in the media include Marc-André ter Stegen of FC Barcelona and Germany, Spaniard Víctor Valdés, and the late Lev Yashin, the latter of whom is often cited by pundits as one of the goalkeepers who pioneered the role of the sweeper-keeper. [37] Sweeper-keepers have been popularised by managers who usually employ tactics inspired by total football, such as Johan Cruyff and Pep Guardiola, for example, and are chosen not only for their shot-stopping and goalkeeping abilities, but also due to their skill with the ball at their feet, their ability to pick out passes and contribute to the build-up play of their team, and their speed when rushing out of the penalty area to anticipate opponents, which enables their team to maintain a high defensive line. It is not without risk, as a goalkeeper being so far from the penalty area can lead to spectacular long range lob goals if they or their team lose possession, as well as risking being red carded if they run out to challenge an opponent but foul them or handball a shot by mistake.


Rogerio Ceni is the highest-scoring goalkeeper of all time, with over 100 career goals. Rogerio Ceni.jpg
Rogério Ceni is the highest-scoring goalkeeper of all time, with over 100 career goals.

Some goalkeepers have scored goals. Other than by accident when a long kicked clearance reaches the other end of the field and evades the opposing goalkeeper with the aid of strong winds and/or unexpected bounces, this most commonly occurs where a goalkeeper has rushed up to the opposite end of the pitch to give his team a numerical advantage in attack, leaving his own goal undefended. As such, it is normally only done late in a game at set-pieces where the consequences of scoring far outweigh those of conceding a further goal, such as for a team trailing in a knock-out tournament.

Some goalkeepers, such as René Higuita, Jorge Campos, Rogério Ceni, Hans-Jörg Butt and José Luis Chilavert, are also expert set-piece takers. These players may take their team's attacking free kicks or penalties. Rogério Ceni, São Paulo's goalkeeper from 1992 to 2015, has scored 132 goals in his career, more than many outfield players. [38] [39]

Equipment and attire

Liverpool F.C. team photo prior to a UEFA Europa League match against FC Gomel. Note the difference in attire of goalkeeper Brad Jones (yellow) with that of the rest of his teammates (red). Liverpool FC team v FC Gomel.jpg
Liverpool F.C. team photo prior to a UEFA Europa League match against FC Gomel. Note the difference in attire of goalkeeper Brad Jones (yellow) with that of the rest of his teammates (red).

Goalkeepers must wear kit that distinguishes them clearly from other players and match officials, as this is all that the FIFA Laws of the Game require. Some goalkeepers have received recognition for their match attire, like Lev Yashin of the Soviet Union, who was nicknamed the "Black Spider" for his distinctive all-black outfit; [40] [41] Klaus Lindenberger of Austria, who designed his own variation of a clown's costume; Jorge Campos of Mexico, who was popular for his colourful attire; [42] Raul Plassmann of Cruzeiro Esporte Clube and his all-yellow outfit; and Gábor Király for wearing a pair of grey tracksuit bottoms instead of shorts. [43]

Although it was initially more common for goalkeepers to wear long-sleeved jerseys, recently several goalkeepers, such as Gianluigi Buffon, have also been known to wear short sleeves. [44] [45] [46] [47]

Most goalkeepers also wear gloves to improve their grip on the ball, and to protect themselves from injury. Some gloves now include rigid plastic spines down each finger to help prevent injuries such as jammed, fractured, and sprained fingers. Though gloves are not mandatory attire, it is uncommon for goalkeepers to opt against them due to the advantages they offer.[ citation needed ] At UEFA Euro 2004, Portuguese goalkeeper Ricardo famously took off his gloves during the quarter-final penalty shoot-out against England, knowing he was the next taker for his side. He then went on to save Darius Vassell's penalty using his bare hands before scoring his own kick to win it for Portugal. [48] [ failed verification ]

Though rare, goalkeepers are permitted to wear visored headgear (such as a baseball cap) to minimize glare from bright sunlight, or a knit cap to insulate from cold weather, at any time if they elect to do so. After recovering from a near-fatal skull fracture that he had sustained in 2006, Petr Čech wore a rugby-style scrum cap during his matches for the rest of his playing career. [49] [50]

Careers and injuries

Goalkeepers have a very physically demanding job. They are the only players allowed to use their hands, except for throw-ins. Because of this, goalkeepers are often injured during breakaways, corner kicks, and free kicks since they put their bodies on the line. Several famous goalkeepers have been injured in ways their counterparts could not possibly sustain. For example, Petr Čech received a head injury after colliding with another player during a 2006 game; a couple of months later he debuted wearing a rugby-style headpiece, a practice that he would continue to follow for the rest of his career. However, some goalkeepers manage to avoid injury and continue to play, many not retiring until their late 30s or early 40s. Notably, Peter Shilton played for 31 years between 1966 and 1997 before retiring at the age of 47.

In general, goalkeepers can sustain any injury to which their outfield counterparts are vulnerable. Common lower and upper extremity injuries include cartilage tears, anterior cruciate ligament tears, and knee sprains. On the other hand, goalkeepers rarely fall victim to fatigue-related injuries, such as leg cramps, pulled hamstrings, and dehydration. [51] Shoulder injuries can be caused by heavy contact with the ground and can cause significant long term injuries as loss of the range of motion can cause a complete inability to do their job. Vedran Janjetovic suffered such a contact injury playing in an A-League match on 25 January 2019 after diving to make a save. After playing nine games on painkilling injections he underwent experimental surgery that required a two and a half year recovery and caused him to miss two entire seasons. [52]


Gianluigi Buffon is the only goalkeeper to have won the UEFA Club Footballer of the Year Award. Gianluigi Buffon (31784615942) (cropped).jpg
Gianluigi Buffon is the only goalkeeper to have won the UEFA Club Footballer of the Year Award.
Oliver Kahn, the only goalkeeper to win the FIFA World Cup Golden Ball award Oliver Kahn 06-2004.jpg
Oliver Kahn, the only goalkeeper to win the FIFA World Cup Golden Ball award
Lev Yashin, the only goalkeeper to win the Ballon d'Or LevYashin.JPG
Lev Yashin, the only goalkeeper to win the Ballon d'Or
Kepa Arrizabalaga, the world's most expensive goalkeeper, having moved from Athletic Bilbao to Chelsea for EUR80 million in 2018 Chelsea vs. Arsenal, 29 May 2019 21 (cropped).jpg
Kepa Arrizabalaga, the world's most expensive goalkeeper, having moved from Athletic Bilbao to Chelsea for €80 million in 2018
Hope Solo, who shares with Iker Casillas the record for most international clean sheets by any goalkeeper, with 102 Hope in San Jose.jpg
Hope Solo, who shares with Iker Casillas the record for most international clean sheets by any goalkeeper, with 102

Goalkeepers are crucial in penalty shoot-outs. The record for most penalties saved in a shoot-out is held solely by Ugandan, Denis Onyango. He saved five penalty shootout kicks to help his club, Mamelodi Sundowns edge Cape Town City 3–2 on penalties at the MTN 8 tournament in South Africa in October 2021.

Second spot is shared by Helmuth Duckadam of Steaua București in the 1986 European Cup Final against Barcelona, [53] and Ciarán Kelly for Sligo Rovers against Shamrock Rovers in the 2010 FAI Cup Final, both of whom who saved all four penalties faced. [54]

Ray Clemence holds the record for the most clean sheets in the history of football, with 460 in more than 1000 official matches. [55]

Stefano Tacconi is the only goalkeeper to have won all official club competitions for which he was eligible. [56] Goalkeeper Ned Doig, who spent most of his career with Sunderland, set a 19th-century world record by not conceding any goals in 87 of his 290 top division appearances (30%). [57]

Rogério Ceni has scored the most goals for a goalkeeper, having recorded 131 goals through free kicks and penalties across his 23-year career. [58] Tony Read and José Luis Chilavert are the only goalkeepers to score a hat-trick (three goals in a game), with all three goals coming from penalty kicks. [59] [60]

Gianluigi Buffon is the only goalkeeper to have won the UEFA Club Footballer of the Year Award. [61] Oliver Kahn holds the record for most UEFA Best Club Goalkeeper and Best European Goalkeeper Awards, with four. [62] Iker Casillas holds the record for most appearances by a goalkeeper in the FIFPro World11 and in the UEFA Team of the Year, as well as most IFFHS World's Best Goalkeeper Awards, alongside Buffon and Manuel Neuer, [63] winning the award for five consecutive years between 2008 and 2012. [64] Casillas held the record for the most clean sheets in UEFA Champions League history until being overtaken by Neuer on April 17 2024. He also held the most number of appearances in the competition until Cristiano Ronaldo overtook him on September 30 2021. [65]

At the international level, Dino Zoff has remained unbeaten for the longest period of time, [66] whilst Walter Zenga holds the record for longest unbeaten run in a FIFA World Cup tournament at 517 minutes. [67] Gianluigi Buffon, Fabien Barthez and Iker Casillas hold the record for fewest goals conceded by a winning goalkeeper in a World Cup tournament at two each.[ citation needed ] Buffon is the only World Cup–winning goalkeeper not to have conceded a goal in open play throughout the entire tournament, one goal having resulted from an own goal after a free kick, the other from a penalty.[ citation needed ] Fabien Barthez and Peter Shilton hold the record for most clean sheets in World Cup matches, with ten each. [68] Mohamed Al-Deayea holds the record for most international caps by a male goalkeeper, with one 178 official appearances for Saudi Arabia. [69] Hope Solo of the United States holds the record for most international caps by a female goalkeeper, with 202 appearances. [70]

Pascal Zuberbühler holds the record for fewest goals conceded by a goalkeeper in a World Cup tournament, and also went a record five successive matches at an international tournament without conceding a goal. He did not concede a goal in 463 minutes of World Cup play against France, Korea, and Togo—making Switzerland the only team in the history of the tournament not to concede a goal in normal time.[ citation needed ] Tim Howard holds the record for most saves made in a sing FIFA World Cup match, with sixteen against Belgium in the round of 16 of the 2014 tournament. [71] Oliver Kahn is the only goalkeeper to have won the Adidas Golden Ball for the best player of the tournament in a World Cup doing so in 2002. [72] Lev Yashin is the only goalkeeper to have won the Ballon d'Or, given to the best player of the year. [73] In 2021, Gianluigi Donnarumma became the first goalkeeper to win the player of the tournament award at UEFA Euro 2020. [74] Gianluca Pagliuca of Italy became the first goalkeeper to be sent off in a World Cup finals match, dismissed for handling outside his area against Norway in 1994. [75] His team went on to win 1–0 and reached the final before losing to Brazil in a penalty shoot-out (the first time a World Cup final was decided by penalties), [76] in which Pagliuca became the first goalkeeper ever to stop a penalty in a World Cup Final shoot-out. [77]

Iker Casillas holds both the record for fewest goals conceded in a UEFA European Championship (only one in 2012), and the record for longest unbeaten run at a European Championship, beating the previous record held by Dino Zoff. [78] He also holds the records for most international clean sheets (102) by a male goalkeeper, beating the previous record held by Edwin van der Sar (72), and became the first goalkeeper in history, male or female, to keep 100 clean sheets at international level in 2015; he also shares with Hope Solo the overall men's and women's record for most international clean sheets. [79] [80] Buffon holds the record for most minutes without conceding a goal in European Championship qualifying matches at 644. [81]

On 26 February 1983, Pat Jennings became the first player to make 1,000 senior appearances in English football. In the 1986 World Cup, held in Mexico, he was turning 41, making him the World Cup's oldest-ever participant at the time. In 1976, PFA awarded him the Players' Player of the Year award making him the first goalkeeper to ever receive this accolade. [82]

Highest transfer fees

Prior to the 21st century, goalkeepers generally commanded far lower transfer fees than outfield players; as of 1992 the highest transfer fee paid by a British club for an outfield player was £2.9 million but the record for a goalkeeper was less than half that figure at £1.3 million. [83]

As of August 2023, the most expensive goalkeeper of all time is Kepa Arrizabalaga, following his 2018 80 million (£71 million) transfer to Chelsea from Athletic Bilbao.

RankPlayerFromToFee (£)Fee ()Year
1 Flag of Spain.svg Kepa Arrizabalaga [84] Flag of Spain.svg Athletic Bilbao Flag of England.svg Chelsea £71m€80m2018
2 Flag of Brazil.svg Alisson [85] Flag of Italy.svg Roma Flag of England.svg Liverpool £66.8m€72.5m2018
3 Flag of Cameroon.svg André Onana [86] Flag of Italy.svg Internazionale Flag of England.svg Manchester United £43.8m [lower-alpha 1] [lower-alpha 2] €52.5m2023
4 Flag of Italy.svg Gianluigi Buffon [87] [88] [89] Flag of Italy.svg Parma Flag of Italy.svg Juventus £33m€51.646m [lower-alpha 3] 2001
5 Flag of Brazil.svg Ederson [92] Flag of Portugal.svg Benfica Flag of England.svg Manchester City £35m€40m2017
6 Flag of Belgium (civil).svg Thibaut Courtois [93] Flag of England.svg Chelsea Flag of Spain.svg Real Madrid £35m€35m2018
7 Flag of the Netherlands.svg Jasper Cillessen [94] Flag of Spain.svg Barcelona Flag of Spain.svg Valencia £31.4m€35m2019
8 Flag of England.svg Jordan Pickford [95] [96] Flag of England.svg Sunderland Flag of England.svg Everton £25m [lower-alpha 4] 2017
9 Flag of Italy.svg Francesco Toldo [97] [98] Flag of Italy.svg Fiorentina Flag of Italy.svg Internazionale €28.405m [lower-alpha 5] 2001
10 Flag of England.svg Aaron Ramsdale [100] Flag of England.svg Sheffield United Flag of England.svg Arsenal £24m [lower-alpha 6] €28m2021

See also




  1. £43.8m plus £3.4m bonuses
  2. Reported figure
  3. Part of the fees was paid via the transfer of Jonathan Bachini to Parma [90] for a total of 100 billion lire; the fixed exchange rate of lira to euro was 1936.27 lire to 1 euro. [91]
  4. £25m plus £5m bonuses [96]
  5. 55 billion lire; Toldo and Rui Costa were originally signed by Parma for a total of 140 billion lire; [98] [99] they were re-sold from Parma to Inter and Milan respectively after the two players refused to join Parma
  6. £25m plus £6m in potential add-ons

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Iker Casillas Fernández is a Spanish former professional footballer who played as a goalkeeper and currently works as a football commentator. Popularly dubbed "San Iker" for his ability to produce miraculous saves, Casillas is widely considered to be one of the greatest goalkeepers of all time. He is known for his athleticism, quick reactions and outstanding shot-stopping ability. Having spent the majority of his career at Real Madrid, Casillas is one of the few players to achieve over 1,000 professional career matches, and also holds the record for the most clean sheets for the Spain national team. Currently, he works for RTVE, Movistar Plus+ and Azteca Deportes.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Penalty shoot-out (association football)</span> Procedure in association football to determine the winner of a drawn match

In association football, a penalty shoot-out is a tie-breaking method to determine which team is awarded victory in a match that cannot end in a draw, when the score is tied after the normal time as well as extra time has expired. In a penalty shoot-out, each team takes turns shooting at goal from the penalty mark, with the goal defended only by the opposing team's goalkeeper. Each team has five shots which must be taken by different players; the team that makes more successful kicks is declared the victor. Shoot-outs finish as soon as one team has an insurmountable lead. If scores are level after five pairs of shots, the shootout progresses into additional "sudden-death" rounds. Balls successfully kicked into the goal during a shoot-out do not count as goals for the individual kickers or the team, and are tallied separately from the goals scored during normal play. Although the procedure for each individual kick in the shoot-out resembles that of a penalty kick, there are some differences. Most notably, neither the kicker nor any player other than the goalkeeper may play the ball again once it has been kicked.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Gianluigi Buffon</span> Italian footballer (born 1978)

Gianluigi "Gigi" Buffon is an Italian former professional footballer who played as a goalkeeper. Widely regarded as one of the greatest goalkeepers of all time, he is one of the few recorded players to have made over 1,100 professional career appearances and holds the record for the most appearances in Serie A.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Association football tactics and skills</span> Notable football skills and tactics

Team tactics as well as individual skills are integral for playing association football. In theory, association football is a very simple game, as illustrated by Kevin Keegan's namely assertion that his tactics for winning a match were to "score more goals than the opposition". Tactical prowess within the sport is nonetheless a craftsmanship of its own, and one of the reasons why managers are paid well on the elite level. Well-organised and ready teams are often seen beating teams with more skillful players on paper. Manuals and books generally cover not only individual skills but tactics as well.

The Laws of the Game are the codified rules of association football. The laws mention the number of players a team should have, the game length, the size of the field and ball, the type and nature of fouls that referees may penalise, the offside law, and many other laws that define the sport. During a match, it is the task of the referee to interpret and enforce the Laws of the Game.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">René Higuita</span> Colombian footballer (born 1966)

José René Higuita Zapata is a Colombian former professional footballer who played as a goalkeeper. He was nicknamed El Loco for his high-risk 'sweeper-keeper' playing style and his flair for the dramatic, and sometimes even scoring goals despite being a goalkeeper.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Pepe Reina</span> Spanish footballer (born 1982)

José Manuel "Pepe" Reina Páez is a Spanish professional footballer who plays as a goalkeeper.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Fouls and misconduct (association football)</span> Unfair act by a player in association football

In the sport of association football, fouls and misconduct are acts committed by players which are deemed by the referee to be unfair and are subsequently penalised. An offence may be a foul, misconduct or both depending on the nature of the offence and the circumstances in which it occurs. Fouls and misconduct are addressed in Law 12 of the Laws of the Game. A foul is an unfair act by a player, deemed by the referee to contravene the game's laws, that interferes with the active play of the match. Fouls are punished by the award of a free kick to the opposing team. A list of specific offences that can be fouls are detailed in Law 12 of the Laws of the Game ; these mostly concern unnecessarily aggressive physical play and the offence of handling the ball. An infringement is classified as a foul when it meets all the following conditions:

  1. It is committed by a player ;
  2. It occurs on the field of play;
  3. It occurs while the ball is in play;
  4. It is committed against an opponent.

In association football, the back-pass rule prohibits the goalkeeper from handling the ball in most cases when it is passed to them by a teammate. It is described in Law 12, Section 2 of the Laws of the Game.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Luca Marchegiani</span> Italian footballer

Luca Marchegiani is an Italian former professional footballer who played as a goalkeeper.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Manuel Neuer</span> German footballer (born 1986)

Manuel Peter Neuer is a German professional footballer who plays as a goalkeeper for Bundesliga club Bayern Munich, who he captains, and the Germany national team. Widely regarded as one of the greatest and most influential goalkeepers in the history of the sport, Neuer has been described as a "sweeper-keeper" because of his playing style and speed when rushing off his line to anticipate opponents, going out of the penalty area. He was named the best goalkeeper of the decade from 2011 to 2020 by IFFHS.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">UEFA Euro 2012 final</span> Final game of the UEFA Euro 2012

The UEFA Euro 2012 final was the final match of Euro 2012, the fourteenth edition of the European Football Championship, UEFA's competition for national football teams. The match was played at the Olympic Stadium, Kyiv, Ukraine, on 1 July 2012, and was contested by Spain and Italy. The sixteen-team tournament began with a group stage, from which eight teams qualified for the knockout phase. En route to the final, Spain finished top of Group C, with a draw against Italy and wins over Croatia and the Republic of Ireland. Spain then defeated France in the quarter-finals before beating Portugal in the semi-final after a penalty shoot-out. Italy were second in Group C, with draws against Spain and Croatia, and a victory over the Republic of Ireland. In the knockout rounds, Italy defeated England after a penalty shoot-out, then Germany in the semi-final.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">2010 FIFA World Cup final</span> World Cup final, held in South Africa

The 2010 FIFA World Cup final was the final match of the 2010 World Cup, the 19th edition of FIFA's competition for national football teams. The match was played at Soccer City in Johannesburg, South Africa, on 11 July 2010, and was contested by the Netherlands and Spain. The event comprised hosts South Africa and 31 other teams who emerged from the qualification phase, organised by the six FIFA confederations. The 32 teams competed in a group stage, from which 16 teams qualified for the knockout stage. En route to the final, the Netherlands finished first in Group E, with three wins, after which they defeated Slovakia in the round of 16, Brazil in the quarter-final and Uruguay in the semi-final. Spain finished top of Group H with two wins and one loss, before defeating Portugal in the round of 16, Paraguay in the quarter-final and Germany in the semi-final. The final took place in front of 84,490 supporters, with more than 909 million watching on television, and was refereed by Howard Webb from England.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Gianluigi Donnarumma</span> Italian footballer (born 1999)

Gianluigi Donnarumma is an Italian professional footballer who plays as a goalkeeper for Ligue 1 club Paris Saint-Germain and captains the Italy national football team.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Italy national football team records and statistics</span>

This article lists various football records and statistics of the Italy national football team.


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