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Good question. The goalkeeper is usually the most undervalued player in a team; rarely does he receive recognition for the effort he puts in. Its an old addage that the goalkeeper is expected to make that great save, and we as fans are only vociferous to his actions when they result in a conceded goal.Anyway, here is a few comments on some goalies through the years who deserve an honourable mention.

Lev Yashin: A Russian who played his entire 22 year career with one club (Dynamo Moscow). The first truly great goalkeeper. His agility between the sticks is legendary; together with his kit, this earned him the nickname 'the Black Panther'. It is rumoured that his infamous skills led him to save more than 150 penalties; far more than any other professional player. In his honour, the award for the best goalkeeper in a World Cup bears his name.

Gordon Banks: As a Brit, I could hardly leave out this hero of 1966, without which we would never have gone all the way. Of course he had many great moments in his career, but he will always be remembered for making the greatest save in footballing history;It was against Brazil in a group match of the 1970 World Cup. A Brazilian attack was begun by captain Carlos Alberta, who made a long ground pass to Jairzinho. He reached the byline, then released a pacy cross to the far post.Frantically, Banks turns to cover it, but he sees Pele arrive at the ball before him, and the greatest footballer who ever lived proceeds to execute a perfect leaping header, aimed down for the goal line. Then he turned to celebrate.Banks believed him; it was only when other England players cheered that either one realised that Banks had done the impossible. Somehow he had managed to manouvre himself back and downwards quickly enough to knock the ball over the bar. Pele went on to call it the greatest save he had ever seen. Worthy praise indeed for a moment of pure brilliance.

Dino Zoff; Not the most charismatic player, but noteworthy due to being the most consistent keeper. He holds the record for the longest continual period without conceding a goal in international football; 1142 minutes between 1972 and 1974. Thus acquiring that much desired quality in a keeper; depndability.

They are probably the top 3 all time, but here are some worthy mentions from recent years that any footie fan should know about;

Rene higuita; Columbian international famous for mostly the wrong reasons, as his extravegance often got him and his team on the wrong end of a goal. Infamous for creating the 'scorpion kick'; whereby the keeper dives forward, putting his weight on his hands and arches his back to make contact with the ball with his legs above his head (imitating pose of a scorpion).

Jose Luis Chilavert; Great player to watch as he was not only a keeper, but also a free kick specialist! consequently he took penalties, and scored 8 internatinal goals for Paraguay. I've also heard that, apparently, he once scored a hat-trick!

Peter schmeichel; Arguably the best keeper of the last 20 years. Along with his superb goal tending, he was also famous for his impassioned rants at his own defence, and his feared unbelievably long throws down the wings that often would result in deadly counter-attacks.

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โˆ™ 2011-09-13 14:46:10
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Q: Who are the world's most famous soccer goalies?
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