Manchester United legend Schmeichel tops our list of great Premier League goalkeepers. But who else makes the cut?
The Premier League has been home to some of the world’s greatest goalkeepers. It seems only fair that we condense the better ones’ achievements into a couple of sentences and rank them in a definitive list. Here goes…
One of the best goalkeepers ever, Schmeichel had everything when it comes to ability. Towering at 6ft 3in, the Great Dane terrified strikers and would often appear unbeatable at Manchester United between 1991 and 1999.
Schmeichel won everything under Sir Alex Ferguson, including five Premier League titles, three FA Cups and a Champions League, before leaving for Sporting in 1999.
EDWIN VAN DER SAR
The eventual successor to Schmeichel at Old Trafford when he joined from Fulham in 2005, Edwin van der Sar was a drastically different character to the blond-haired Denmark legend.
A calming influence at behind one of the great Premier League defensive partnerships (Nemanja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand), Van der Sar broke the world record for league minutes without conceding a goal (1,311 minutes) and won the Golden Glove in 2008-09 with a mammoth 21 clean sheets.
Think of great 1990s Premier League goalkeepers, and David James should pop into your head along with Schmeichel and David Seaman.
James played for a handful of Premier League clubs, including Liverpool, Manchester City and Portsmouth, and earned 53 caps for England. He was also the subject of the most Sunday League moments to ever happen in a Premier League game, when Man City’s Stuart Pearce opted to throw him up front against Middlesbrough.
Not only has Cech turned out for two of the country’s biggest clubs for the past 12 seasons, he’s also been a clean-sheet machine for Chelsea and Arsenal.
He’s won the Golden Glove a record four times (along with Joe Hart) and is the only goalkeeper to win the award with two different clubs. He was Chelsea No 1 when they conceded a paltry 15 goals in the 2004-05 season, a league record.
DAVID DE GEA
One of the few redeeming features of Manchester United’s barren few seasons under David Moyes and Louis van Gaal was the emergence of De Gea as one of the world’s best stoppers.
After a wobbly start having joined from Atletico Madrid, De Gea has become the best goalkeeper in the Premier League. United fans will be praying Jose Mourinho can keep De Gea away from Real Madrid in the summer.
Pep Guardiola might not agree, but Joe Hart – joint with Cech – has won the most Premier League Golden Glove awards (since the award’s inception in 2005), having earned the most clean sheets in a Premier League season four times.
He may have looked suspect for England, but his performances for Manchester City have been consistently excellent, particularly in massive European ties. Expect to see him at a much bigger club than Torino next season.
One of England’s greatest ever goalkeepers, Seaman won three titles (two Premier League) and four FA Cups while at Arsenal.
He also made one of the greatest saves in history, when he clawed the ball off the line in the 2003 FA Cup semi-final against Sheffield United, which Arsenal went on to win.
Rafa Benitez’s favourite goalkeeper joined Liverpool in 2004 and spent 10 years at Anfield. A truly gifted goalkeeper, the Spaniard won three Golden Glove awards.
If it weren’t for an outstanding Manchester United team, he’d likely have won a couple of Premier League titles too.