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FIFA World Cup 2018: Top Five Goalkeepers to Watch Out for in Russia

News18 Sports take a look at the few top goalkeepers who could take the tournament by storm in Russia.

News18 Sports

Updated:June 9, 2018, 12:45 PM IST
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FIFA World Cup 2018: Top Five Goalkeepers to Watch Out for in Russia
File image of David de Gea in training. (AFP Image)
Legendary Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson once famously said that 'attack win you games but defence win you titles' and the 32 teams that will taking the plane to Russia for the upcoming FIFA World Cup will be hoping that their defence will come stand up like a wall against some of the top marksmen, who will be licking their lips at the prospect of shining on the grandest stage of them all.

They say that a goalkeeper does a very thankless job for his football team. Usually, a goalkeeper doesn't get back-page headlines like superstars who ply their trade at the front, he doesn't usually get mega-money moves in club football and a custodian doesn't recieve the plaudits that they generally deserve.

However, ask any top manager in the business and he will tell you that a good player between the stick can be a difference between a victory and a crushing defeat. Ask Liverpool Jurgen Klopp and he will admit that if it was not for Loris Karius, the 1-3 drubbing could have been so different in Kiev.

News18 Sports take a look at the few top goalkeepers who could take the tournament by storm in Russia -


David de Gea (Spain)

(Getty Image) (Getty Image)

Arguably the best goalkeeper in the business currently, Spanish number one David de Gea has time and again proved that he the worthy successor of the legendary Iker Casillas for Spain. The reason why Manchester United achieved second spot in the Premier League can be attributed to de Gea, as he won the golden glove for the 2017-18 season with as many as 18 clean sheets to his name. This season, de Gea also won the Sir Matt Busby Player of the Year award at Manchester United — his fourth in five seasons — and that says it all about the caliber of the Spanish custodian.

During Spain's qualifying campaign, de Gea played nine matches in which he conceded just 3 goals and kept as many as six clean sheets. So, if the La Roja are to recreate the magic of 2010, de Gea's ability and form will play a very crucial role.


Manuel Neuer (Germany)

(Getty Image) (Getty Image)

German superstar Manuel Neuer is single-handedly responsible for the change in the way keepers function these days. Neuer made a name for himself with his scintillating displays with Schalke that got him a big-money move to Bayern Munich and since then, he hasn't looked back. Not only Neuer is a goal-keeper but the way he rallies his defenders is also second to none. In the last World Cup, Neuer kept as many as four clean sheets in seven matches and only conceded four goals throughout the course of his team's victorious campaign.

Neuer's sweeper-keeper role has been very well documented in the past and if the big German is fit as he claims to be, then expect the Die Mancshaft to challenge for the title once again.


Thibaut Courtois (Belgium)

(AFP Image) (AFP Image)

Slowly and steadily, the golden generation of Belgium football is running out of time on the international arena and after failing to deceive in 2014 FIFA World Cup and 2016 Euro Championship respectively, Roberto Martinez's side will look to make amends in Russia and live up to their billing. Thibaut Courtois holds the back of a very powerful Belgian side and the team management knows that their hopes of making it into the latter stages of the tournament lies with their star custodian.

Courtois is one of the best in business when it comes goal-keeping and he played a very important role in Chelsea winning the FA Cup this season. In total, Courtois played 46 matches for Chelsea and conceded a whopping 47 goals across all competitions and therefore, he will look to make amends as his future with the English giants is up in the air and will want to put up a good show for his potential suitors for next season.


Hugo Lloris (France)

(Getty Image) (Getty Image)

Huge Lloris has become a household name worldwide with his scintillating displays for both France and Tottenham over the last few years and and he is now the undisputed number one for both club and country. Lloris will hurting off the fact that he came ever so close to lifting an international title but he was caught off-guard by a stunner from Eder in the final of the competition.

Lloris featured in nine world cup qualifying games for France, keeping seven clean sheets and conceding six. Moreover, Lloris' excellent campaign saw him keep 15 clean sheets for Spurs and if manages to pull-off similar heroics in the blue of national team, expect the young guns of France to go very very far in the tournament.


Allison Becker (Brazil)

(AFP Image) (AFP Image)

If a goal-keeper manages to keep out Manchester City's Premier League-winning custodian Ederson from the playing XI, then that players has to be extraordinary and AS Roma's goalie Allison Becker is just that. Brazil coach Tite feels that Allison is a better goalkeeper that Ederson and his performances with Italian giants AS Roma has been simply stunning, where he helped his side reach the semi-final of the UEFA Champions League 2017-18.

In his 49 starts for Roma, Allison managed to keep 22 clean sheets in the recently-concluded season and while playing for Brazil in the World Cup qualifiers, he kept 9 clean sheets in 16 matches, helping Brazil top the group. On paper, the Selecao possess one of the most explosive forward line among the 32 teams that are landing in Russia and as far as defense is concerned, the onus will be on Allison to keep his back-line steady — something he has done ever so well in the last couple of years.

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| Edited by: Pratik Sagar
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