In times of doubt, it can be nice to check with authority. “Who is the best goalkeeper in the world?” Well, ask WikiAnswers and you get a definitive and unequivocal answer: “The best goalkeeper in the world is Italy’s and Juventus’ Gianluigi Buffon.” Done and dusted.

Sadly, guessing at the level of criticism and angry complaints we will generate with a definitive list like this, (“but you left out Yeovil’s Josh Wagenaar!”), we can only wish it was so simple…

Nonetheless, risking our necks – and leaving out Josh W – here we go with our choice of the top 10 goalkeepers currently playing in Europe…

Xmas top ten James10. David James, England, age 38. HO SOCCER goalkeeper gloves.

DJ has shown some moments of weakness this season, but we like to look beyond the worn out adage that “you’re only as good as your last game”. James has been outstanding over recent seasons, with game after game of match winning performances for Portsmouth. Such as at Old Trafford in last season’s 1-0 FA Cup win, giving Portsmouth a clear run for their first piece of decent silverware in eons. Overall interesting bloke, writes for the Guardian. HO Soccer keeper. His car allegedly runs on rapeseed oil.

David James

Xmas top ten Palop9. Andres Palop, Spain, age 35. Adidas goalkeeper gloves.

Spain is a hotbed of goalkeeping talent at the moment, and, not sure whether to choose between Barcelona’s Victor Valdez and Sevilla’s Palop for inclusion on this list, to be truthful it came down to a nice stat we found about the latter. Apparently after Spain’s winning final in Euro 2008, Palop, who was 3rd choice keeper in the squad, wore Luis Arconada’s actual Euro 84 final shirt when collecting his medal. Palop picked up his medal from Michel Platini, who won Euro 84 after an error from Arconada on a free kick. Palop has never actually been capped for Spain yet though.

Xmas top ten Cesar8. Julio Cesar, Brazil, age 29. Reusch goalkeeper gloves.

The first of two Brazilian keepers in our list, for anybody that still believes the myth that Brazil can only produce strikers – and this list doesn’t include Helton or Doni. Julio Cesar won the Inter #1 spot from the Italian great Toldo, not long after signing from Flamengo in 2005. A consistently good keeper, has set the Brazil international clean sheet record with over 10 hours of football without conceding a goal.

Julio Cesar

Xmas top ten Gomes7. Huerelho Gomes, Brazil, age 27. Uhlsport goalkeeper gloves.

OK, look, so not exactly the man of the moment. A tricky start at Spurs and a bit of pillorying in the press. But Gomes will bounce back. Check out his record breaking feats in the Dutch league: apparently had streaks of 971 minutes, 817 minutes and 956 minutes of consecutive football without conceding a goal in each of his first seasons with PSV – coming close each time to the Dutch league record of 1082 minutes set in 1971.

Xmas top ten Reina6. Pepe Reina, Spain, age 26. Adidas goalkeeper gloves.

Loved on Merseyside, and winner of the Barclays Premier League Golden Gloves awards over the last 3 consecutive seasons (given to the goalkeeper keeping the most clean sheets in a season). It’s difficult to argue with those kinds of stats. He would also be Spain’s number 1, but for Iker Casillas. Son of well known former Atl'©tico Madrid keeper Miguel Reina Santos, who lost a European Cup Final to Sepp Maier’s Bayern Munich in the 1970s.

Xmas top ten Friedel5. Brad Friedel, USA, age 37. Adidas goalkeeper gloves.

Not always stylish, not always a flair player, but unquestionably an outstanding goalkeeper. An absolutely pivotal figure in Blackburn’s success over recent seasons, and his departure has coincided with their sudden demise. Has recently earned huge praise from new boss Martin O’Neill as his heroics and consistency have seen Aston Villa move up to new heights in the Premier League.

Xmas top ten van der sar4. Edwin Van Der Sar, Holland, age 38. Adidas goalkeeper gloves.

“VDS”, as fans lovingly call him, just makes it look so easy. An elegant and graceful goalkeeper, especially for his age and height, whose brilliant positioning leaves him so often in the right place to make the great saves look straight forward. Van Der Sar is still enjoying great form in the twilight of his career, after spells at Ajax and Juventus, and a whole career at the highest level since 1990. Now also Holland’s most capped player of all-time, with 130 caps.

Xmas top ten cech3. Petr Cech, Czech Republic, age 26. Adidas goalkeeper gloves.

Look at it this way: if Roman Abramovich thought there was a better keeper out there, he would have already bought him. Outstanding keeper – brilliant reactions, size and presence. A pioneer and ambassador of goalkeeping technology with the new all orange kit. His £7m transfer to Chelsea in 2004 reportedly meant that Chelsea paid more for him than every other goalkeeper to have played for them in history (and that includes Peter Bonetti, Carlo Cudicini, Dmitri Kharine, Ed de Goey and Kevin Hitchcock).

Xmas top ten casillas2. Iker Casillas, Spain, age 27. Reebok goalkeeper gloves.

They say victory at the highest level is a key criterion of true greatness. Casillas captained the first Spanish team to win the Euros since well, can anybody even remember? And moreover he made it happen with some key penalty saves and overall solidness. “Superstar” doesn’t adequately sum up his status in Spain. A Real Madrid keeper since his teens, Iker was born in Madrid and will probably die there. But not before he chalks up another 10 years or so of major silverware.

Xmas top ten buffon1. Gianluigi Buffon, Italy, age 30. Puma goalkeeper gloves.

Gigi is close to the top of everybody’s list – and after all, who can argue with WikiAnswers? Record breaking 4 times IFHHS World Goalkeeper of the Year winner, with more points accumulated in this award than anybody else, ever, including Peter Schmeichel and Oliver Kahn. World Cup winner 2006. Juventus hero. World’s most expensive goalkeeper (52 million). Married to Czech model Alena Aeredova. What else do you want?

Great quote from his agent, after Buffon was relegated with Juventus in 2006 over the Juve match fixing scandal and linked with a move away: “Serie B is a division he has never won and he wants to try to do this.”

So, how do you rate our list? Add your own top ten or suggest changes to ours by using the comments section below.

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  1. says: Brandon FCB

    Why is everyone overlooking Valdes, he has only let in 10 goals so far, and most of them were during the beginning of the year before we had our current form. That’s 16 less than Casillas.

    1. says: jano

      thats becuse of the defence valdes did nothing and the reason casillas let in a lot of goals was becuse the defence and the injuries wasn’t his fault

  2. says: Mark

    Celtic’s arthur boruc is definiteley in there. but what is gomes doing there? same with palop? they should be replaced by frey of fiorentina and lehman of stuttgart. maybe tim howard or manuel almunia.

  3. says: the number 23

    pepe reina should be higher than 6th, he’s performed so well this year and in the past.

    honestly is the gomes one a joke?

  4. says: Simon

    Edwin van der Sar is a lot better than Buffon.
    Look at the Comunity shield of 2007, look at the champions league and look at the European cup 2008!!!
    I think edwin is still the best of all, he made a lot of nice saves at the EC and without him the netherlands didn’t play so good as the group stage.

  5. says: Simon

    After the accident Petr cech is’nt so good as before.
    he made a lot of mistakes (turkey) and he isn’t good enough for this list.

    1. says: Vaclav Jezek

      mate petr cech he is fantastic some saves he makes liverpool 1 vs 0 chelsea and liverpool 2 vs 0 chelsea the saves he made in them games both against Gerrard very fab if it wont for him chelsea would have lost like 4 nil every game and yes ok he did make a mistaque for Czech against Turkey but what did the comentators say ? that something like this will happen 1 in 10 000 for Petr Cech and because of the ball curling away and it raining lik e shite he dropped it

  6. says: MOOSA

    Rob Green is under rated, but maybe not good enough for this list.

    Artur Boruc is very good, but should be tested against world class strikers, not the Kenny Millers of the SPL

    …as for Gomes, are you having a laugh????? He was decent at PSV, England is too good for him.

    Any goalkeeper can look good playing at a poor standard agains second rate strikers, this list should only be comprised of keepers that are proven at the highest of standards.


  7. says: simon is a d*** head

    van der saar is absoloutely shocking just cause this guy supports man u , even tho he lives no where near man u and cech not on the list simon your a joke your so biased and dont know anything about football,i support grimsby MY LOCAL CLUB and this list is fair bar gomes and a couple others

  8. says: Vaclav Jezek

    Ok Petr Cech let in least goals this season in the premiership so far and i think that casillas should be 3rd and Petr Cech 2nd or first because of Petr Cech had most injuries horrofying out of any keepers in the world probably and he is still only coming back and hes the youngist on the list meaning that he has lots more years to improve unlike Van Der Sar and others

  9. says: john murphy

    excuse urselfs for ure misleading guide as arthur boruc not in there is this some kind of joke his performances have been tested not only against kenny miller but against the cream of the crop as celtiv have played barca man u ac millan ect must i go on.(champions league) is that nothing?
    not to say the european championship . he was by far the best goalkeeper on performances he just didnt get rated because of the team infront of him. u just cant pick out the big names and put them where u like in a list because of there value £ .££££££

  10. says: Yurko Mikels

    I believe Petr Cech is the one to watch during this Championship play. He’s young and he has heart! Who else could have come back to the professional leagues, the English Leagues no less, after such a horrific injury. I’d say it’s more than his fat wallet motivating him! Go Blues and all the English League! Real football, not like the crying Italians!

  11. says: Tiago

    I think the best GKs are without question from South Africa.

    Where is

    Rufay Zapata?

    Plus in my opnion 1 of the best European GKs is without question Wiese! Plus Adler as well!

  12. says: Pachet

    who ever made this list? how you gonna make Buffon number one that was the 3,2 years ago but now? Casillas is number 2? ha ha ha you’ve got to be an american ho just started to watch football (I’m from New York by the way) i support Brazil how you gonna make Heurelho Gomez part of the 10 best gk ? we all know the best goalkeeper alive is Julio Cesar from Inter Milan just like Dida, Milan was a couple years ago period holla back at me [email protected] [email protected]

  13. says: Dan Qwerty

    I think Artur Boruc from Celtic is definitely in the top 5. As for Cech, Valdes, Reina and Van Der Sar they are all so overrated. Reina cost Liverpool the Champions League. Valdes gets nothing to do. Van Der Sar is old and Cech sh*** himself because of his accident!!!

  14. says: jordan c

    what the hell,why isnt boruc in this list,look at his peformance in the champions league against villarreal and in the euro 2008,ok he can make mistakes but so does every goalie,when boruc is playing at his best he is amazing,a mean come on 4 clean sheets in a row and the season hasnt even started yet

  15. says: Dan.1

    I think that Artur Boruc has got to be in the top 5. Pepe Reina is crap look at his angles. Cech is a big poof after his injuries and Valdes never has a save to make.

  16. says: Chuma

    Hi All. I think everyone has forgotten Nikopolidis from Olympiakos. He has been a powerhouse for the enderrated and underfunded Olympiakos. He was also at the helm when the unfancied Greece lifted the European crown. he has time and again come to the rescue for club and country. Was it not for his loyalty to his beloved Greece he could have gone to higher honours at the bigger clubs. time is not on his side but he continues to produce.

  17. says: Jimmy Merchant


  18. says: ryan


  19. says: ted giordano

    To everyone who cares,when it comes to a REAL competition, i.e. The World Cup watch out for the greatest to shine again and again, GIANLUIGI BUFFON and why not the whole of the Italian team too, shocking in friendlies (unlike England) but virtually unbeatable when the serious stuff begins, (unlike England and Spain who both like to murder the other team when is only exhibition play).

  20. says: sasho kot

    list is good but i dont think buffon is still number one. cheh is good friedel is very good too but i think akinfeev should be in this list and schmichel’s successor tomas sorensen should be on this list also

  21. says: sasho kot

    yes shay given, akinfeev, and tomas sorensen should be on the list. buffon is not best. most expensive yes but not the best. and from the countries i think the columbia has over the years very good goalkeepers from rene higuita, oscar cordoba,ali farid camilo mondragonare between best goalkeepers of all times

  22. says: john

    This is silly VDS is not the 4th best keeper in the world he is great at communicating with the defence but is not a gifted shot stopper. and whoever mentioned valdes is a complete fool he is the worse thing to happen to goalkeeping this decade. The top 3 should be these players in any order but definatly in the top 3 iv put them in my order of preference.
    3. Buffon
    casillas come out on top because of the 2010 world cup where under all the pressure of the spanish media saying valdes was better he arguably wont he cup for them. with his double save vs portugal and holland and the penalty save against paraguay. also a fact that blows buffon and cesar out of the water is at the world cup finals casillas has played 16 games only conceded 11 and kept 8 clean sheets and made an avarage of 5 saves a game so it wasnt all his defence and 60% of the penaltys cas has faced at the world cup he has saved what a player and he has faced 10 penaltys at world cup finals

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