La Liga 2018-19: 5 best goalkeepers in the league
An average team with a good goalkeeper is a competitive team but an average goalkeeper in a good team makes the team average. The role of the goalkeeper is key to the success or failure of any team. A goalkeeper is as an important player in the game as a baseball pitcher is in baseball or a wicketkeeper in cricket. A goalkeeper is the eyes of the defence and should be the commander and chief of the defensive line.
Teams like Manchester United are successful because they have a world-class goalkeeper, David de Gea. Teams in La Liga also have great goalkeepers which save their teams at the right moment and are a key part of their match-winning squad. Imagine your team leading 1-0 and the opposition make a counter attack and the player goes one-on-one with your goalkeeper, who makes an incredible save to win your team the match. That is what a great goalkeeper can do.
Today we will discuss the top 5 goalkeepers in La Liga this season.
#1 Jan Oblak – Atletico Madrid
The Slovenian, who joined Atletico Madrid in from Benfica in 2014, has won the Ricardo Zamora Trophy for the best goalkeeper in La Liga for the past three seasons. This season as well he has been repeating his performances and has just let just 17 goals past him.
Oblak has been very consistent and has kept the maximum number of clean sheets by any keeper in La Liga in the present campaign. Also, he has the best shots saved % in La Liga. He is one of the major reasons why Atletico are still in the title race, with the club currently being seven points behind leaders Barcelona.
He has kept 14 clean sheets and has an extraordinary 79.8% shot save percentage. His major strengths are his reflexes and his shot-stopping prowess.
#2 Marc-Andre ter Stegen – Barcelona
Often referred to as ‘The Wall’ and ‘The Airlines’ by Barcelona social accounts, he is one of the best goalkeepers in the world and has been improving with each passing game. His performances have been very clinical and have saved Barcelona many times.
Joining Barcelona in 2014 from German side Borussia Mönchengladbach, he has won every trophy with Barcelona. He is irreplaceable and as he is just 26 years old, he is surely going to remain Barcelona’s number one choice between the sticks for years to come. His recent performance against Athletic Club was so good that he single-handedly got a point for his team and kept a clean sheet. This isn’t the only time he has saved Barcelona and surely the German stopper will try to repeat his performances and win the treble with Barcelona this season.
He has kept 11 clean sheets with an impressive 72.2% shots saved percentage. His reflexes and shot-stopping ability are his major strengths.
#3 Fernando Pacheco – Deportivo Alaves
The Spaniard joined Alaves in 2015 from Real Madrid C-team after several impressive displays. Soon after joining Alaves, he became a regular starter. Currently, it is impossible to drop him to the bench. He has improved a lot this season and has played most of the games for his team.
His statistics are not great but his performances are far better than the numbers. He is above Valencia keeper Neto in this list because of his improvements. He has been an important part of a below-average team, who finished 14th last season. His form has been crucial in Alaves currently being in the fifth spot in the league table, just 2 points adrift of the top 4.
He has saved 77.4% of the shots and also kept his 8 clean sheets so far this season. One of his major strengths is his long passing.
#4 Neto – Valencia
The ex-Juventus backup keeper joined Valencia in 2017 and has since played almost every game for the Spanish side. He is surely one of the most impressive goalkeepers in La Liga. After a poor start to the reason, his team are back to winning ways and are currently in 7th position, thanks to the indisputable keeper.
The 29-year-old Brazilian is known for his shot stopping and great reflexes. He has shown the world that with him in the front of goal, the opposition have to be very precise with their shooting to have any chance of scoring. His main aim will be to take his side to the top 4.
He has the 2nd highest save % in the league behind Jan Oblak, at 78.1. Also, the Brazilian has kept 9 clean sheets for his side and saved 1 penalty out of the 5 Valencia conceded.
#5 Sergio Asenjo – Villarreal
Asenjo joined Villarreal from Atletico Madrid in 2013 but was suffering from injuries and was not able to play a full season till 2017. From then, he has been one of the most important players for the Yellow Submarines. This season Villarreal have been struggling in the league and are in the relegation zone. But the Spaniard has been the lone-warrior and has been quite impressive this season.
He has played each and every minute in the La Liga and has kept 7 clean sheets this season. He has also saved 74.1% of shots which is one of the main reasons why he is on the list. He has also saved 2 of the 3 penalties he faced.