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5 Top Goalkeepers With Most Penalty Saves In Football History

Goalkeeping without a doubt is one of the most important positions on a football pitch. A goalkeeper’s crucial saves can be the difference between a win and a loss for a team.

Now imagine the stress the penalty-taker and the goalkeeper, let alone the spectators, and some viewers, go through. There is a high risk of cardiac arrest.

We all go to the edges of our seats to see if the penalty is saved or not. Saving a penalty can turn you into a one-game hero. But saving various penalty kicks, will turn you into a club or national hero.

On that note, let’s take a look at the top 5 goalkeepers with the most penalty saves right now.

  • Samir Handanovic

Samir Handanovic tops the list of the most penalty saves by goalkeepers. The Inter Milan star and captain has saved a record 38 penalties during his professional career and this is not the end. Although the 36-years-old Slovak footballer has retired from the national team in 2015, he is still one of the crucial players in Internazionale.

During the 2019-20 season, Handanovic equaled Gianluca Pagliuca‘s record of most penalties saved in Serie A. Both have 24 stops in Italy, but Samir Handanovic is unbeatable by a general number of saves. Taking into account the high chances of Inter to reach the 2020 Europa League final, its goalkeeper can renew his record.

  • Gianluigi Buffon

The second name on the list of goalkeepers with most penalty saves ever is the majestic Gianluigi Buffon. He is a legendary Italian goalkeeper who is considered one of the best players of all time. He regularly enters the tops of the best keepers in the world, but this time he finished second. With 30 penalty saves, Buffon is the runner-up on the list of most penalty saves by goalkeepers in the 21st century.

Although Buffon has quit the Italian national team two years ago, he can still improve his penalty-saving rate in Serie A. Currently, the 42-years-old keeper plays in Juventus, the new champion of the domestic league. Buffon has many chances to try to reach the #1. Gigi Buffon should be considered as one of the goalkeepers with highest penalty saves of all time.

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  • Diego Alves

The third place on the list of goalkeepers with most penalty saves ever goes to Diego Alves. He is not a worldwide famous goalkeeper, yet, he managed to enter the top-3 by penalty saves and surpassed such beasts as Neuer or Cech.

Brazilian goalkeeper Diego Alves has hit the top-3 of the best penalty savers since 2000. The 35-year-old keeper managed to overcome Neuer by just one extra save – during his career, Alves has made 26 stops. Diego Alves thinks of penalty kicks as “a psychological battle between the goalkeeper and the taker.”

Alves’s most successful career years have gone in Spain when he was playing for Almeria and then Valencia. Currently, Diego plays for Brazilian club Flamengo and its national team. He has made 10 appearances for the Brazilian national team. Diego Alves is surely one of the greatest penalty savers in history.

  • Manuel Neuer

The 4th name on the list of goalkeepers with most penalty saves ever is the magnificent beast, known as Manuel Neuer. German goalkeeper Manuel Neuer has always entered the lists of the best keepers in history. In 2014, he entered the top-3 in the FIFA Ballon d’Or voting, which rarely awards goalkeepers. Also, Neuer won several Player of the Year titles in Germany as well as four UEFA Goalkeeper of the Year awards.

Considering all Neuer’s achievements in football, it is not surprising that he is on the list of the most penalty saves by goalkeepers. During his career, he has made 25 stops – just one wasn’t enough to be placed 3rd in this top. The fortune smiles on Neur, as he probably will be higher on the list by 2021.

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  • Gianluca Pagliuca

The last name on the list of goalkeepers with most penalty saves ever is Gianluca Pagliuca. A fast, consistent and professional goalkeeper. This is the definition I can give you, of Gianluca Pagliuca. Known for his penalty-stopping abilities, he has the record of 24 saves to his name. Pagliuca was praised for his excellent positional sense, and acrobatic reflexes. Yet, his main strength was between the posts.

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