Best Goalkeepers in the World in 2023

Josip Brajkovic
Josip Brajkovic
Published: 30. listopada 2023.


Across the world, all football cultures have a common view of the goalkeeping position. A mixture of awe and bewilderment. From an early age, you have to be a special type of person to put on those gloves. So to be the best amongst that crazy bunch of people who rush into the studs on a regular basis, it's a feat as big as any. The 10 best goalkeepers in the world maybe don't have the price tags of their colleagues in the team, but they pull their worth even more.

Especially now. As in the last decade of the previous, and the first decade of the current century were marked by dynasty goalkeepers - those who remained elite for around 10 years - now the situation is slightly different. It seems that keepers rise and then fall into the shadows far quicker.

With the example of David De Gea perfectly illustrating this. As DDG was THE goalkeeper for several seasons, the main buoy during Manchester United's stormy seas. To now considering early retirement due to a lack of proper interest in his service. Aged 32, a line goalkeeper like himself, the Spaniard should be at the middle or end of his prime, yet he is struggling to find a club willing to give him a contract.

Starting the list of the best goalkeepers in the world with an honourable mention. A necessary one as Manuel Neuer's legacy requires any football writer to include him as the best. Yet the GK is injured more frequently and getting older, as such is yet to play a game in the 2023/2024 season. While only performing in 16 matches the previous season.

#10 best goalkeeper in the world: Unai Simon (Athletic Bilbao)

Unai Simon

Without much fanfare, Unai Simon took the #1 shirt for the Spanish national team and privatized the position as he has 37 caps already aged only 26. Nearly half of those games were clean sheets for the one-club man who has paid his dues slowly. Even though he's playing for a side that isn't as elite as it used to be, Simon has kept his net intact in five of the 10 games of the 2023/2024 season. Overall, playing for Bilbao, Simon has 53 clean sheets in 169 games.

#9 best goalkeeper in the world: Gianluigi Donnarumma (Paris Saint-Germain)

Gianluigi Donnarumma

Gigi Donnarumma was marked to be the next biggest goalkeeper, yet the Italian will have a hard time proving that in the division in which he chose to play in. Ligue 1 as a whole is certainly the national competition with the lowest standard amongst the top five leagues, and PSG hardly has any worthy competitors to keep Donnarumma on edge. With Champions League games too few (usually) to solidify one as the best. Still, aged only 24, and already a European champion with Italy, Donnarumma has to be included. His 14 clean sheets in 48 matches across the 2022/2023 PSG campaign give him enough for a number 9 ranking.

#8 best goalkeeper in the world: Emiliano Martinez (Aston Villa)

Emiliano Martinez

Even though it's usual for any article listing the best players in a position to include only the employers of the very best clubs, Champions League contenders, Emiliano Martinez couldn't be excluded. If not for anything but his World Cup triumph. For years, maybe decades, Argentina always had a goalkeeper who was behind his teammates in quality. When Leo Messi and bunch got a worthy GK, gold shone. And Martinez was instrumental in saving a last-minute shot. Emi also had 13 Premier League clean sheets in the 2022/2023 season with the highly attacking Villans.

#7 best goalkeeper in the world: Mike Maignan (AC Milan)

Mike Maignan

Even though his stock fell a bit, AC Milan had one of the most difficult recruitment tasks in the last decade when they needed to replace Donnarumma. Choosing a keeper that played in Ligue 1 was a move that paid off. Maignan is a formidable presence in the Rossoneri box and in the 77 games he played for the side he has an immense record of 34 clean sheets! Slowly starting to get the France number one spot, Maignan at 28, is certainly one of the best keepers of 2023.

#6 best goalkeeper in the world: Diogo Costa (Porto)

Diogo Costa

The man who is threatening to take the title of the world's most talented goalkeeper from Donnarumma. With his market evaluation showing that, as Porto's Diego Costa is the highest-appraised GK in the game right now. With 18 caps for Portugal and 10 clean sheets in them, alongside 20 in the 41 club games of the 2022/2023 campaign, the 24-year-old is impressive all over. Even though he is one of the few goalkeepers on this list below the 190 cm mark.

#5 best goalkeeper in the world: Marc-Andre Ter Stegen (Barcelona)

Marc-Andre Ter Stegen

Somehow silently overlooked in the talks about the world's greatest goalies, perhaps because he is the perpetual number two pick for the national team, yet Ter Stegen has been one of the most consistent performers between the posts for nearly a decade. In the 13 matches of the 2023/2024 season he has seven clean sheets, and in the 50 games of the previous, he recorded 28. All with a young defence that hasn't been playing for a long time. With all the possible club trophies won at Barca, MATS is taken for granted.

#4 best goalkeeper in the world: Ederson (Manchester City)

Ederson

While including Ederson amongst the top five goalkeepers in the world would make the more cynical people roll their eyes because of how the outfield City players dominate the match, the reality is that the Brazilian helps them immensly with that. Arguably the best with the ball at his feet out of all keepers, Ederson also does his primary job amazingly. Wiht the treble season made possible with his 19 clean sheets and only letting through 39 goals in 48 matches! Behind Alisson for Brazil, Ederson still made 25 caps and defended the goal fully on 12 ocassions.

#3 best goalkeeper in the world: Thibault Courtois (Real Madrid)

Thibaut Courtois WC2022.jpg
By Tasnim News Agency, CC BY 4.0, Link

Thibault Courtois is one of the few top goalkeepers on this list who proved without a doubt that he can do it on two different highest stages. Firstly with Atletico, then proceeding to Chelesea, and now returning to Spain and continuing his domination. Even though it wasn't easy at first with Real, the Belgian let through fewer goals than he has matches 230 to 219. With 91 clean sheets. For Belgium, his clean sheet ratio is exactly 50% with 51 in 102 games!

#2 best goalkeeper in the world: Jan Oblak (Atletico Madrid)

Jan Oblak

Of all the top teams in the world, Atletico Madrid is the most defensive-minded and hence Jan Oblak usually gets tested the most. Making his 195 total clean sheets for Atleti in 404 matches wildly impressive. Oblak has an impressive record for tiny Slovenia as well, with 28 games in which he kept a clean sheet out of 60 played. Oblak is still young for a goalie, aged 30, but has also shown consistency few have in the modern game making him a lock for the best goalkeepers list.

#1 best goalkeeper in the world: Alisson Becker (Liverpool)

Alisson Becker

While the narrative in the previous seasons was that Alisson benefited greatly from playing behind the cover of the world's greatest defender Virgil van Dijk, the Dutchman is now a shadow of himself. The LFC backline as a whole is held together by the Brazilian keeper who has the toughest competition in the national team, with the #4 Ederson competing with him. Yet Alisson has 61 caps and only in 20 matches was he forced to take the ball out of his net! The numbers for LFC are similarly impressive with 106 clean sheets in 241 games, and conceding fewer than a goal a match at 0.88.




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