Keepers have been a vital part of the World Cup with heroics by shot-stoppers keeping their country in the competition. Holland’s Tim Krul made headlines after Louis van Gaal brought on the Newcastle man for a penalty shoot-out against Costa Rica whilst Nigeria’s Vincent Enyeama continued his form after a record-breaking season at Lille.
Below are the top five goalkeepers at this year’s World Cup…
#5 – JULIO CESAR – BRAZIL – QUEENS PARK RANGERS
After being exiled in England with QPR, Cesar fled to Toronto FC in hope of first team football in order to boost his World Cup hopes. Luiz Felipe Scolari kept faith with the former Inter Milan keeper and Cesar made saves from Ivan Perisic and Luka Modric in the opening game to keep his side in the tie. After a good performance against Chile in the round of 16, Cesar saved penalties from Mauricio Pinalla and Alexis Sanchez to send Brazil through to the quarter finals. His World Cup heroics were overshadowed however conceding seven goals to Germany in the semi-final and he announced his international retirement upon the tournament’s completion.
#4 – TIM HOWARD – UNITED STATES – EVERTON
Everton’s Tim Howard was one of the stand-out performers of the United States national team in their impressive tournament run. The American keeper made a tournament record amount of saves against Belgium (15) before finally breaking in extra-time to allow the Belgians through. Howard conceded four goals in the group stages making 13 saves over three games. Howard’s influence was another factor in a successful tournament for the USA and his performances were commended all over the country.
#3 – KEYLOR NAVAS – COSTA RICA – LEVANTE
Keylor Navas’ performances at the World Cup have gained the Costa Rican stopper a lot of suitors. Levante claimed that German powerhouses Bayern Munich had reached an agreement for his signature; a deal which has now reportedly fell through. Navas set a clean sheet record in La Liga for Levante last season and his good form continued in Brazil. Costa Rica’s remarkable run to the quarter finals was mostly down to their impressive defensive work including some solid performances from the 27 year old between the sticks. Navas conceded just two goals from matches against England, Italy, Holland, Greece and Uruguay and could be set to move to the Premier League with a £6.5m buyout clause attracting attention from England.
#2 – GUILLERMO OCHOA – MEXICO – FREE AGENT
Guillermo Ochoa’s heroics kept Brazil at bay with the former Ajaccio keeper receiving the Man of the Match for keeping the score at 0-0. Ochoa is currently a free agent and will have no trouble finding a new employer after an inspired World Cup. The 28 year old’s reflexes and agility were outstanding to watch and as Mexico crashed out of the World Cup thanks to an unstoppable Wesley Sneijder volley and a cruel Klass Jan Hunterlaar penalty in injury time. After three magnificent seasons with Ajaccio, Ochoa is now set for a move to bigger things after proving his worth this summer.
#1 – MANUEL NEUER – GERMANY – BAYERN MUNICH
Manuel Neuer is rated by most people as the best goalkeeper in the world and he curtained justified claims in Rio. Neuer has commanded the German backline and has displayed a modern style of goalkeeping; acting as a sweeper keeper on many occasions. The German is rapid off his line and has demonstrated shot stopping abilities of the highest class. The 28 year old’s distribution has led to many Germany attacks and the Bayern Munich man has been named on a three man shortlist for the tournament’s Golden Glove award.
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