Perhaps the most underrated player on a soccer pitch is the goalkeeper. These shot stoppers are capable of winning you matches and also condemn their team mates to defeat in equal measure. Their only instruction before a match is ‘’just keep a clean sheet’’. While goalkeepers hardly lose form like their striking counterparts, it takes something special to convince managers you are worth the extra zeros each week. Goalkeepers rarely get the taste of stardom, but the business end of it will be taken care of with a fat paycheck. The following are the top 10 highest paid and successful footballers in 2018, based on an annual net figure.
10. Thibaut Coutois – Chelsea FC – £3 Million
Chelsea goal-line custodian Thibaut Courtois is one hard goal keeper to beat. The towering 6’6’’ Chelsea and Belgian National Team goalkeeper is having a wonderful time at Chelsea, having been on-loan to Atletico Madrid for three seasons. He was part of the Atletico Madrid team that eliminated Chelsea in the champions’ league knockout stages three seasons ago. Chelsea recalled him back the following season, and he replaced long-standing Chelsea goal keeper and legend Petr Cech.
9. Salvatore Sirigu – Paris St. Germain – £3 Million
Paris St. Germain goalkeeper Salvatore Sirigu is another tough nut to crack in front of goal. He has won four consecutive French league titles with PSG and has gained prominence with the Italian national team. Don’t the Italians have a perfect replacement for retiring veteran goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon? PSG bought Sirigu from Palermo where he was showing a lot of promise.
8. Claudio Andrés Bravo Muñoz – Manchester City – £3.5 Million
When Pep Guardiola took over Manchester City earlier this season, he made a few significant changes to the City squad. The most notable of them all was ditching and loaning out England number 1 Joe Hart. He replaced him with Claudio Bravo. The move brought Bravo into the spotlight, and sometimes drawing criticism from the English media for not filling in the shoes of Hart. It might be too early to start dismissing Bravo, with the former Barcelona showstopper having to prove his critics wrong the hard way.
7. Gianluigi Buffon – Juventus – £4 Million
Juventus Football Club goalkeeper and captain is one disciplined footballer, having earned his reputation as being a skilled professional, applying his trade for both club and country. He has won plenty of trophies for both club and country, with a world cup to his name. He is the long standing Italian goalkeeper and captain. The tall and fierce 6’3’’ 38 year old goalkeeper is a one club man and has been with Juventus since his career kicked off.
6. Pepe Reina– S.C. Napoli – £4.16 Million
World cup winning Spanish goalkeeper Pepe Reina became world renowned playing for Liverpool and Spain at a time when the two teams were firing home silverware on all cylinders. Currently at Italian side Napoli, he was sold to Bayern Munich but later made the move to S.C. Napoli seeking first team slot. He has been pivotal in improving Napoli’s turn around season, and the 34 year old looks to be having more years guarding Napoli’s goal line.
5. Hugo Lloris – Tottenham Hotspur – £4.56 Million
French goalkeeper Hugo Loris is Spurs’ goalkeeper and skipper for both club and country. He is one amongst the Top 10 Highest Paid Successful Goalkeepers In The World 2018. He is famed for his clean-sheet keeping abilities and raw talent. A target for most big clubs, Lloris has gone to show his prowess is unmatched and is currently one of the best goalkeepers in the world. He joined Tottenham on transfer deadline day back in 2012. He has been one of the most consistent goalkeepers around and is probably seeking to move elsewhere in search of trophies.
4. Petr Cech – Arsenal- £5.2 Million
Legendary Czech Republic captain and current Arsenal custodian Petr Cech is probably one of the best goalkeepers of his era. He made his mark in football playing for Chelsea FC where he won almost every other trophy with them, including the Champions League in 2012 and the English premier league 3 times. He saves penalties and wins matches, even the hardest. He is currently at Chelsea rival club Arsenal, having been sold by Jose Mourinho after equally good goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois.
3. Iker Casillas – FC Porto – £7.5 Million
Real Madrid will forever remember Iker Casillas as one of their best goalkeepers. He won major trophies with them including the coveted Champions League trophy. He is also Spain’s goalkeeper and captain, having won the world cup and European cup with them. He is currently dating celebrity media reporter Sara Carbonero and was once accused of having caused Spain’s loss to Switzerland during the 2010 world cup in South Africa. Spain went on to lift the trophy. He currently plays for Italian side Napoli having been released from his lifetime contract with Real Madrid CF.
2. Manuel Neuer – Bayern Munich – £7.6 Million
Sweeper keeper and German International Manuel Neuer is arguably the best goalkeeper in the world. Is there anything this high achieving goalkeeper has not won? The champions league and world cup are already secure. He started playing football at age four. When he joined Bayern, he went for over 1000 minutes without conceding a goal, breaking Oliver Kahn’s club record. He is a car enthusiast, but only drives a Volkswagen GTI Golf. He is known to be very generous with his time and money away from the pitch, working with several charitable organizations.
1. David de Gea – Manchester United – £10.4 Million
David de Gea is the best paid goalkeeper in the world 2018. The Manchester United and Spain national team shot stopper has replaced big names like Edwin Van Der Saar (club) and Iker Casillas (country) as lead goalkeeper. He signed for Manchester United from Atletico Madrid for 17.5 Million pounds, a then club record for a goalkeeper joining an English team. Sir Alex Ferguson brought a gem into United, a fact well highlighted when Real Madrid was desperate to signing him as Iker Casillas replacement back in 2013. He refused and went on to become the goalkeeper with the best contract in the world at Manchester.
So, these above are the top 10 highest paid goalkeepers in the world in 2018. While goalkeepers do not earn as much as Paul Pogba and Christiano Ronaldo, they are one of the most important and carefully maintained positions in football. As they say, if you cannot concede you cannot lose and these goalkeepers are the ones taking the best shot at that fact.