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Lev Yashin

Lev Yashin played for the USSR between 1954 and 1970, gaining 78 caps in that time and going to four World Cup finals. He was rated as arguably the best goalkeeper to ever play the game. His reflexes were like lightening and his bravery unparalleled.

He is the only keeper ever to win the European Footballer of the Year award, which he did in 1963, and was known as the 'Black Spider' because of his distinctive all-black kit, as well as the fact that it seemed as though he had eight legs! Legend has it he saved over 150 penalties through his career.

Somewhat ironically though, he never won the award which now carries his name. It was named after him shortly after his death in 1990 following complications after having one of his legs amputated following an infection after a knee injury.

Although the award was first handed over at the 1994 World Cup in the USA, each prior finals had selected a Goalkeeper of the Tournament. The first winner was Enrique Ballesteros from Uruguay, who helped his side lift the inaugural World Cup on home soil in 1930.

More often than not the prize goes to the keeper who lifts the trophy at the end of the tournament, but not always. Harry Gregg from Northern Ireland was the unlikely recipient in 1958 in Sweden, this despite conceding 10 goals in four games! There he beat Yashin into second with a massive 478 votes to 122.

A survivor of the Munich Air Disaster earlier that year, he is considered a hero, having pulled a number of Manchester United players and staff from the burning wreckage of their plane, which might have gone some way to swaying the voters. However, he is still regarded as possibly the greatest goalkeeper ever to play for United.

The eccentric Belgian Michel Preud'homme won the award in 1994 as he kept three clean-sheets against Netherlands, Morocco and Saudi Arabia in the group stages, before his side lost 3-2 to Germany in the second round.

German Oliver Khan won in 2002, and is also the only keeper to win the Golden Ball award for the overall Best Player of the Tournament, despite his side losing 2-0 to Brazil in the Final.


(World Cup, Winner, Nationality)

1930 Uruguay - Enrique Ballesteros (Uruguay)

1934 Italy - Ricardo Zamora (Spain)

1938 France - František Plánička (Czechoslovakia)

1950 Brazil - Roque Máspoli (Uruguay)

1954 Switzerland - Gyula Grosics (Hungary)

1958 Sweden - Harry Gregg (Northern Ireland)

1962 Chile - Viliam Schrojf (Czechoslovakia)

1966 England - Gordon Banks (England)

1970 Mexico - Ladislao Mazurkiewicz (Uruguay)

1974 West Germany - Jan Tomaszewski (Poland)

1978 Argentina - Ubaldo Fillol (Argentina)

1982 Spain - Dino Zoff (Italy)

1986 Mexico - Harald Schumacher (West Germany)

1990 Italy - Sergio Goycochea (Argentina)

1994 USA - Michel Preud'homme (Belgium)

1998 France - Fabien Barthez (France)

2002 Korea/Japan - Oliver Kahn (Germany)

2006 Germany - Gianluigi Buffon (Italy)

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The Golden Glove.

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Q: The award for the best goalkeeper in each World Cup tournament is named after which legendary keeper?
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