Goalkeeper

5 Top Goalkeepers of 2020 You Should Watch Out For

One of the positions that have evolved over the years in football is the position of goalkeeper. They are crucial players on the field, and their roles have changed and are no longer what they used to be. They can start the attack and be the last line of defence. Also, although there have been significant changes in its role, it’s importance is not affected. They are necessary to prevent opposing teams from scoring goals. With that in mind, here are some of the top goalkeepers in football you should know about:

#1 Jan Oblak: Atlético Madrid

The Slovenian stopper is known to be ranked number one among the top goalkeepers of 2020. He currently plays for Atlético Madrid, a Spanish club. He was bought from Benfica, a Portuguese club, for a fee of £14 million. His 73.1% save percentage in La Liga has made him one of the most reliable shot-stoppers. He has an incredible 99 clean sheets and only conceded 115 goals in 180 La Liga games.

#2 Alisson Becker: Liverpool 

Allison is known to be a gifted shot-stopper and has an 80.36% save percentage in the Premier League. The Brazilian goalkeeper has 11 clean sheets, 60 saves and 26 appearances for the 2019-2020 season. He is currently playing for Liverpool and was even named “The Best FIFA Goalkeeper in 2019.” Last year, he also won the FIFA Club World Cup with Liverpool. 

#3 Marc-Andre ter Stegen: Barcelona

Although he had an unconvincing start in Barcelona, ter Stegen has proven why he was the team’s goalkeeper. This season, no La Liga goalkeeper has a higher completion rate than the German footballer. With 86.45%, no wonder he is one of the top goalkeepers this 2020. In 2014, ter Stegen had moved from the Bundesliga club, Borussia Mönchengladbach, to Barcelona for a fee of €12 million. He is a consistent goalkeeper, which is why he is a strong contender for Germany’s first-choice keeper after Manuel Neuer.

#4 Ederson Moraes: Manchester City

The Brazillian goalkeeper currently plays for the Premier League club, Manchester City. He had started his career at São Paulo but later on joined his current team for £35 million. In the past two seasons, he has 36 cleans sheets. He is also known for his ridiculously long kicking range, and he has constantly played a crucial role in Manchester City’s success.

#5 Manuel Neuer: Bayern Munich

It was during the 2010 World Cup that the world saw Manuel Neuer’s talent. Because of his prowess, he became one of the top goalkeepers and was signed by Bayern Munich in 2011 after his iconic performance in Bundesliga. He is known to stay at the half-line of the pitch bravely during counter-attacking moments. Although his recurring foot injuries have caused him to perform poorly during the past games, he remains to be one of the most popular goalkeepers in the world.

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touching moments of respect in football history puyol hugging abidal messi

4 Touching Moments of Respect in Football History

Football is not all about trophies, medals, and honours of sorts. Football is a refuge where humans are being humane as they are. After all, the teams, players, fans, and casual spectators are in it for the disparate display of compassion.

A Quora user asked, “What are some famous gestures of respect in football history?” One user answers some moments that will leave you teary-eyed.

Enjoy the most heartwarming moments of respect in football history.

1) A.S. Roma honouring their father-and-son fans who died after watching their game

Stefano and Cristiano had a blast watching their favourite football club against Bayern Munich in October 2014. 

Riding a scooter on their way home, the father and son met with an accident that took their lives. Luana and Michelle, Stefano’s wife and daughter, respectively, were left behind. 

The tragic news reached the players as they were given a shirt with the father and son’s picture printed on each, minutes before their next game. 

Wearing the shirt as they head onto the pitch, the players honoured both Stefano and Cristiano and Luana and Michelle who were in the audience and shared with the latter’s pain.

2) Oliver Kahn consoling Santiago Cañizares who was crying profusely after the match

In a 2001 Champions League Finals game between Bayern Munich and Valencia, Cañizares was seen crying on the pitch right after the game. But it wasn’t because of the club’s lost or the fact that they lost for two consecutive finals matches.

He learned during half-time that his mother had died. He continued playing only to broke down to tears right after the match. 

Instead of celebrating his team’s victory, Kahn, Bayern’s then captain, went over to Cañizares to console him. Kahn lent his shoulder for Cañizares to cry on.

3) Carles Puyol calling Ronaldhino for a team photo a year after leaving Barcelona

Ronaldhino left the Blaugrana club in 2008, signing up with A.C. Milan. 

In 2009, during a preseason match in honour of Barcelona’s founder Joan Gamper, Puyol invited Ronaldhino over for a team photo. It signalled that the players still consider him as part of the Barca family.

Puyol’s sportsmanship was a legend. In 2005, Sergio Ballesteros, Mallorca’s defender, slapped as he was sent out of the pitch for a rash challenge. Ronaldhino saw this and strongly reacted by aiming at Ballesteros.

Puyol pushed him back, stopping Ronaldhino purposefully who was about to attack Ballesteros because of what he did. 

4) Carles Puyol removing his armband and putting it on Eric Abidal

Abidal wasn’t performing well—he had liver cancer. Barcelona also decided that his 2012-ending contract won’t be extended because of health issues.

In May 2011, Puyol had another touching moment and this time involving Abidal when the team won their fourth Champions League Finals match against Manchester United.

Abidal was able to play the full 90 minutes of the game. To celebrate his recovery, Puyol removed his armband and put it on Abidal so he could lift the trophy first amidst an 85,000-packed Wembley Stadium.

Abidal was diagnosed with a tumour in March 2011 and underwent surgery two days after. 

During the round-of-16 matches, football players wore t-shirts saying “Animo Abidal!” (Get well Abidal!). The message was also displayed in the scoreboard.

On March 19, 2011, the fans at the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium clapped for 22 minutes in his honour. It was his jersey number.

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There are millions of heartwarming moments in football. For you, which is the most touching? Let us know.

Most Expensive Buyout Clauses in Football

Buyout clauses are that part of the contract that says ‘no, you can’t touch our man.’

In the football world, the buyout (or release) clause skyrockets after the record-breaking buyout of Neymar to Paris Saint Germain. His buyout amounted to €222 million.

If you are meaning to ask what is Lionel Messi’s buyout clause, well, it’s in the tune of roughly €727.8 million. He will be playing for Barcelona through 2021.

Neymar and Messi are not the only football players with astonishing buyout clauses, though. 

Here are other players with expensive buyout clauses in football.

Ousmane Dembélé, Philip Coutinho | €400 million

Neymar left a spot that is sure hard to replace. And so Barcelona started filling up the hole by acquiring Dembélé. The 20-year-old French player has one of the most expensive buyout clauses now.

Coutinho has been an impressive player on the turf. So Barcelona is doing everything in keeping him in the club.

Toni Kroos, Luka Modric, Dani Ceballos, James Rodriguez, Gerard Pique | €500 Million

Kroos is a crucial man in Real Madrid’s lineup, sharing the same buyout clause with his teammates, Modric, Rodriguez, and Ceballos.

If Kroos is responsible for balancing the team, Modric’s main role is orchestrating an attack particularly after retrieving the ball. Modric connects the defence and the attack. Modric is also a Ballon d’Or winner. 

Ceballos has yet to prove his worth. The midfielder is known for his excellent performance while on his previous club, Real Betis.

Rodriguez is currently on loan to Bayern Munich. He hasn’t had the opportunities playing for Real Madrid yet, but he still belongs to the club.

Pique, on the other hand, is a seasoned defender that landed him the high buyout clause.

Lionel Messi, Marco Asensio, Isco | €700 million

Messi is doing Messi—with his five Ballon d’Ors and 523 goals out of 602 matches. Enough said.

Asensio is another promising 21-year-older (same with Ceballos) in the list. As early as now, he is a prominent feature in Real Madrid’s attacking line.

Sceptics compare Isco with the playing style of Zinedine Zidane. He may not be always on the starting lineup but when he does play, he delivers a convincing performance that earned the trust of the club’s manager.

Antoine Griezmann | €800 million

Barcelona is depending on its left-footed forward, along with other football superstars in the club of course. He was a team player and has an eye for goal.

Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale, Benzema | €1 billion

People would speculate why Ronaldo has a bigger buyout clause than Messi. But one has to wonder why Gareth Bale and Benzema have bigger buyouts as well.

Bale’s transfer from Tottenham Spurs to Real Madrid was the predecessor to Neymar’s record. Bale’s transfer was valued at €100 million. Indeed, he was Real Madrid’s prized possession.

Benzema has a solid 2018-19 performance. He scored a total of 21 goals at La Liga. He was the top choice striker too.

Going back to Ronaldo, he was Real Madrid’s top scorer. With him on the club, the Los Blancos was able to win all the possible titles there are. He was signed in 2009.

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Messi and Ronaldo truly deserved their buyout clauses. But what about the others? Let us know your thoughts.