Football, the beautiful game, is arguably the most popular sports in the world. The Messi, Ronaldo’s (both Portuguese and Brazilian), Zidane, Beckham or Pele, all had been the global brand ambassador for the game. We all have witnessed many close game, nail biting finishes and unbelievable comeback matches in the years gone by. The audience always tends to like the free goal scorers and the dribblers more as compared to other players. One such underestimated position is of the Goalkeeper.
The ever present figure between the stick with a calm mind helps the other 10 players to play with freedom. Every champion team is built around a world class goalkeeper the Man united Team of the late 90s and 2000 was built around the dependable Edwin van der Sar, The galacticos of Real Madrid for a decade were built around the King Iker Casillas. Even now, Juventus FC is dominating the European front, mostly because of their legendary goalkeeper Buffon. The importance of a good goalkeeper can be easily reflected in their high salaries. We present you the list of top 10 highest paid and best goalkeepers in the world 2018.
10. Claudio Andres Bravo Munoz
Teams: Chile National team and Manchester City FC
Annual Salary: $3.5 million
Net Worth: $10.2 million
The most capped Chilean Shot stopper had played for some most prestigious clubs. Bravo is known for his control and ball distribution, he is one of its kinds as he possesses exceptional speed and is considered as modern time sweeper Keeper. He has the honor of playing with Lionel Messi, Inestia, Xavi and Puyol in FC Barcelona. He played a vital role in Pep Guardiola’s FC Barcelona team that went on to win La Liga, UEFA Champions League and Copa Del Rey in 2014-15.Bravo recently signed with Manchester City FC in 2016, making him the marquee signing of Guardiola era .
9. Marc Andre Ter Stegen
Teams: Germany National team and FC Barcelona
Annual Salary: $3.8 million
Net Worth: $15 million
Marc Andre Ter Stegen is a German goalkeeper who currently is the first choice Goalkeeper for FC Barcelona. The agile shot stopper from German has grown through the ranks of Bundesliga side Borussia Monchengladbach while representing his nation sides in Under 16, Under 17 under 18 and Under 21 National sides. FC Barcelona lewd him to Camp Nou at an astonishing sum of €12 million with a buyout clause set to €80 million. Still, 25 Ter Stegen has won the Fritz Walter Medal in U-17 and Under 19 category, the Goalkeeper of the season in Bundesliga 2011-12. He also made it to the UEFA under 17 team of the tournament 2009 and Uefa Champions League Team, of the Season 2014-15.
8. Salvatore Sirigu
Teams: Italy National team and Paris Saint Germain
Annual Salary: $4.9 million
Net Worth: $19 million
Salvatore Sirigu hails from the country which is famous for its defending style of play on football pitch. There was a time when the Italian League was known for its highly rated defenders and goalkeepers. Sirigu is taking the legacy forward. Sirigu was dubbed as a perfect heir to Buffon. Sirigu began his career at Palmero FC and after several loan spells was able to mark his dominating presence on world stage. He is generally applauded for his overall skills sets such as physical strength, composure, reflexes and consistency. Sirigu had been an integral part of the dominating Italian National team. He has won The Ligue 1 goalkeeper of the Year on two separate occasions in 2012-13 and 2013-14.
7. Thibaut Courtois
Teams: Belgium National Team and Chelsea FC
Annual Salary: $4.7 million
Net Worth: $19.8 million
Thibaut Nicolas Marc Courtois is the youngest member on the list of richest goalkeepers in the world. The talent of the towering Belgian shot stopper can easily be predicted as he is the youngest goalkeeper to represent Belgium. He was the one who upstaged Peter Cech from being the first choice Goalkeeper at Chelsea FC. Courtois has graduated through the youth system of Genk, and was signed by Chelsea in 2011.After three trophy laden loan spells at Atletico Madrid; he was recalled by Chelsea and since then has been a main stay of the team. He has been awarded the LA Liga Goalkeeper of Year 2013, Belgian Sportsman of the year 2014 and was included in UEFA Champions League Team of the Season 2013-14. He is the only Goalkeeper having a social media meme Thibauting for his incredible shot stooping abilities.
6. Gianluigi Buffon
Teams: Italy National Team and Juventus FC
Annual Salary: $6 million
Net Worth: $20 million
Buffon is one of the global brand ambassadors for the beautiful game. He has been active for almost 26 years in football and had record number of appearances in International matches and club matches. The Juventus Shot stopper is known for his man management skills with defenders and prolific composure and being an inspirational figure in dressing room. He still holds the record of being the most expensive Goalkeeper in the World. He was signed by Juventus for €53 millions in 2001. One of many outstanding records he holds is of longest streak without conceding a goal in Serie A history which extends up to 12 games. The impressive resume of Buffon is very long and impressive and still the legendary Italian keeps us compelling with his terrific performances on the pitch.
5. Petr Cech
Teams: Arsenal FC
Annual Salary: $6.1 million
Net Worth: $22 million
Another Legend on the list is the prolific Cech goalkeeper Petr Cech. Petr Cech holds an impressive record of holding clean sheet for 7 games and 10 hours of game time against one of the modern Greats Lionel Messi. He holds the majority of Goalkeeper records in Premier League such that of taking fewest appearances to reach 100 clean sheets, most numbers of clean sheets in Premier League and having most numbers of minutes without conceding a goal that of 1025 minutes. The former Captain of Czech Republic is one of the most decorated goalkeepers and is an inspiring personalities to look up to.
4. Hugo Lloris
Teams: France National Team and Tottenham Hotspurs FC
Annual Salary: $7 million
Net Worth: $30 million
The French team captain has been an exceptional performer for his club and country in the last few years. Lloris is depicted as an agile and aggressive goalkeeper with exceptional composure by the critics. He at present plays for English club Spurs and owing to his incredible performances Spurs are challenging for the League title. Owing to his exceptional performance between the sticks he was named the captain of the French National Team in 2010. Lloris has been awarded Ligue 1 Goalkeeper of the Year Award in 2008-09, 2009-10 and 2011-12 season .
3. Iker Casillas
Teams: Spain National Team and FC Porto
Annual Salary: $7.5 million
Net Worth: $40 million
The mainstay of Galacticos project of Real Madrid, Iker Casillas makes into the top three richest Goalkeepers of the World. Iker is known in football world as the longest serving Real Madrid FC captain and the captain who lead Spain to wining the Euro Cup 2008, 2010 World Cup and the Euro 2012.He is one of the few footballer who has won all the major trophies with his club and country. Iker was nicknamed San Iker or Saint Iker for his calm attitude and incredible agility. Iker is known for its longevity and consistency levels. At the end of 2015, many critics predicted the downfall of Iker because of his age , but Iker continues to prove his critics wrong by a display of impressive performance for his current club FC Porto.
2. Manuel Neuer
Teams: Germany National Team and FC Bayern Munich
Annual Salary: $9.5 million
Net Worth: $45 million
Manuel Peter Neuer, the captain of German National Team is arguably the best Goalkeeper in World right now. He has won the IFFHS World’s Best Goalkeeper Awards for a record four consecutive times since 2013. The critics and expert describe Neuer as the complete and modern goalkeeper. He is a complete Goalkeeper who is known for accurate ball distribution for launching counter attack. The 2014 World Cup Winner has won many prestigious awards such as Golden Glove Award for being the best Goalkeeper in World Cup 2014, The UEFA Best Player in Europe Award in 2011, 2014 and 2016 and the UEFA Goalkeeper of the Year in 2011,2013,2014,2015 and 2016.
1. David De Gea.
Teams: Spain National Team and Manchester United FC
Annual Salary: $10.4 million
Net Worth: $49 million
David De Gea was made the highest paid goalkeeper in the World by agreeing a €200,000 per week deal with the United. David de Gea Quintana, owning to his incredible performance has been a target of Real Madrid for last two seasons. He is known as one of the best young Goalkeepers in the World. De Gea is hailed as the perfect heir to long serving Spanish Captain and Goalkeeper Iker Casillas. So far, De Gea has won Manchester United Player’s Player of the Year in 2013-14, 2014-15 and the prestigious Sir Matt Busby Player of the Year 2013-14, 2014-15 and 2015-16.
Goalkeepers are the unsung Hero on the Football pitch. One conclusive ag save in the dying minutes can be the difference between wining team and losing team in a close match. The defense of a team is structured around the weakness and strength of their respective goalkeeper. The mega salaries of aforementioned Goalkeepers show the importance of having a composed mind guarding your goal. These Goalkeeper with their incredible performances and incredibly hard work keep on inspiring a generation.