Despite the serious lack of recognition for defensive players and especially goalkeepers in the Balon D’or awards there are actually times in a game where we depend on a goalkeeper to create an exciting, jump out of your seat moment or produce a save that turns the tide of the game. Here are 5 handpicked moments in where a goalkeepers save had the whole world watching.
Jerzy Dudek vs. AC Milan
It’s the Champions League final. It’s Istanbul. Two of Europe’s most successful clubs and it’s 3-3. We all know how the story started and we all know how it ends although sometimes the importance of this ‘lucky’ or ‘destined’ save is often forgotten. Not only was this save hugely important to Liverpool’s cup win but it will also be remembered for its sheer complexity. How did Jerzy manage to get any body part on this and how did the ball end so far up in the air? Not even Dudek knows…
David Seaman vs. Sheffield United
The man himself has claimed this save to be his best and you’ll see just why. If you’re English and support Arsenal there’s no doubt you will have seen this legendary save on many occasions. As Arsenal clinged on for dear life against under-dogs Sheffield United Paul Peschisolido headed towards goal with a shot that looked destined to go in – however pouncing out of nowhere was David Seamen and his firm hand, managing to palm away the header in what is surely one of the greatest saves ever.
Rene Higuita vs. England
How could we miss this one? Unless you have been hibernating in the footballing world for the past 20 years you will have no doubt have seen this save. Is it crazy? Is it genius? Is it luck? We have no idea, but it’s brilliant. ‘The master of the unpredictable’ was known for his spontaneous and abnormal decisions on the football pitch and this doesn’t prove otherwise.
Peter Schmeichel vs. Rapid Vienna
Arguably the greatest Premier League goalkeeper and arguably in the top 10 goalkeepers of all time Peter was known as the ‘Great Dane’ and with very good reason. It’s 1996 and Manchester United are on the cusp of exiting the Champions League against minnows Rapid Vienna. The ball is crossed in for Vienna and Schmeichel comes up with this save which will be remembered for United fans for the rest of time.
Manuel Neuer vs. Arsenal
I want to bring history forward a little now with a save that happened just around a month ago. We all know Manuel Neuer as ‘The World’s best’ and here is exact evidence of why. Despite this magical saved though Arsenal went on to win 2-0 scoring goals late on in the game.