In 1963, Lev Yashin became the first and the only goalkeeper to win the coveted FIFA Ballon d’Or. No other shot-stopper has won it to date. FIFA and UEFA should explain to us the reasons why because many great goalies have graced the game in the last century. Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo have won it five times each. Mohamed Salah might challenge their dominance but only if he manages to lift the Champions League. The same goes for Neymar who joined PSG last summer to get away from Messi shadow.
But who are the top five goalkeepers who deserved to take home football most prestigious individual award?
5.Peter Schmeichel- Denmark and Manchester United
It’s a shame because former Manchester United keeper Peter Schmeichel deserved it too. Fans around the World will agree with me that he was without a doubt one of the most amazing shot-stoppers in the modern game. He won a whopping 5 Premier League titles and that famous Champions League trophy in 1999. He was so impressive in goal that opposing players feared him. His trademark reflex saves will forever remain in the memories of many people.
“I don’t believe a better goalkeeper played the game. He is a giant figure in the history of Manchester United” Sir Alex Ferguson.
- Det Gyldne Bur (Danish Goalkeeper of the Year): 1987, 1988, 1990, 1992
- Danish Football Player of the Year: 1990, 1993, 1999
- UEFA Euro 1992 Team of the Tournament
- UEFA Goalkeeper of the Year: 1992, 1993, 1997, 1998
- IFFHS World’s Best Goalkeeper: 1992, 1993
- Premier League PFA Team of the Year: 1992–93
- Premier League Player of the Season: 1995–96
- UEFA Club Goalkeeper of the Year: 1997–98
- UEFA Champions League 10 Seasons Dream Team (1992 to 2002): 2002
- English Football Hall of Fame: 2003
- PFA England League Team of the Century (1907 to 2007): 2007
- Premier League 10 Seasons Awards (1992–93 to 2001–02)
- Overseas and overall Team of the Decade
- Save of the Decade (vs. Newcastle, 21 December 1997)
- Premier League 20 Seasons Awards (1992–93 to 2011–12):
- Fantasy Teams of the 20 Seasons public and panel choice
4.Oliver Khan- Germany and Bayern Munich
The less I say about Oliver Khan the better. His career in football was nothing but a revolution of what a goalkeeper should be. Fans called him ‘The Volcano’ and journalists called him the ‘The Titan’ and both were correct in a way. He was a master of his own art. His presence, power, aggressiveness, reflex, and talent will forever be missed.
He won everything for club and country say for the World Cup which evaded him by a whisker in 2002 and FIFA Ballon d’Or which nobody can just understand why. He deserved it. He lost to Michael Owen in 2001/02 season. The Englishman deserved it more that year. However, others ask why Khan did not win it in any other year. The current and future generation will surely judge those who were in positions of power harshly for not recognizing the great Oliver Khan.
- Best Bundesliga Keeper: 1994, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002
- IFFHS World’s Best Goalkeeper: 1999, 2001, 2002
- Best European Goalkeeper: 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002
- UEFA Club Football Awards – Best Goalkeeper: 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002
- ESM Team of the Year: 1999–2000, 2000–01
- UEFA Champions League Final Man of the Match: 2001
- German Footballer of the Year: 2000, 2001
- Ballon d’Or – Third place: 2001, 2002
- UEFA Fair-Play Award: 2001
- FIFA World Cup Golden Ball: 2002
- FIFA World Cup Yashin Award: 2002
- FIFA World Cup All-Star Team: 2002
- FIFA World Player of the Year – Silver award: 2002
- FIFA 100
3. Gianluigi Buffon – Italy and Juventus
Italian International goalkeeper is without a doubt one of the best goalkeepers of his generation. We all saw the hunger in him last week when referee Michael Oliver decided to end his Champions League with a red card. It was that realization that it was all over for him despite putting up a spirited fight in Madrid.
Consistency has been his strength for years. For more than a decade now both Italy and Juventus have not known any other man between the posts. He is one of the most decorated goalkeepers still in the game today. At 40 many could argue that his best days are gone but you might be very wrong.
The only blemish in Buffon career is the fact that he has never won the most prestigious of them all, FIFA Ballon d’Or. Reason why? Only FIFA and UEFA can tell because it is difficult to understand how he will not retire with the award. He came second in 2006 behind fellow countryman Fabio Cannavaro but with all due respect to the later, Buffon deserved it more. Today we all know he doesn’t have a chance as far as Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi are still in the game. It is such a shame that he will retire without it.
- 1 Bravo Award: 1999
- 1 UEFA Club Goalkeeper of the Year: 2002–03
- 1 UEFA Club Footballer of the Year: 2002–03
- 2 ESM Team of the Year: 2002–03 2014-15
- 1 Best European Goalkeeper: 2003
- 1 FIFA World Cup Yashin Award: 2006
- 1 FIFA World Cup All-Star Team: 2006
- Ballon d’Or – Runner-up: 2006
- 9 Serie A Goalkeeper of the Year Award: 1999, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2008, 2012, 2014
- 3 UEFA Team of the Year: 2003, 2004, 2006
- 2 FIFPro World XI: 2006, 2007
- 4 IFFHS World’s Best Goalkeeper: 2003, 2004, 2006, 2007
- 1 IFFHS Best Goalkeeper of the decade: 2000–2010
- 1 IFFHS Best Goalkeeper of the past 25 years: 2010
- IFFHS Best Goalkeeper of the 21st Century
- 2 UEFA Euro Team of the Tournament: 2008, 2012
- 2 Serie A Team of the Year: 2012, 2014
- 1 UEFA Europa League Team of the Season: 2013–14
- 1 UEFA Champions League Team of the Season: 2014–15
- 1 UEFA Best Player in Europe Award: 2015