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Five of the best goalkeepers in Premier League history

Five of the best goalkeepers in Premier League history

Since its inception in 1992, the Premier League has featured some of the world’s best footballers, drawn to England by the ultra-competitive style of play and the promise of fame and riches.

While many of the most decorated and celebrated footballers to grace the Premier League have been noted for their goalscoring feats and creative genius, the top flight of English football has also been home to some of the best-ever goalkeepers.

In fact, there have been so many great goalkeepers in the Premier League that it is difficult to narrow down the choice to a top ten let alone a top five. After a great deal of deliberation, we have managed to do just that. So, which goalkeepers have been so influential that their mere presence on the team sheet is enough to skew the betting odds at online bookmakers? Here are five of the best to ever grace the Premier League.

Petr Cech

During his 15-year Premier League career, the former Chelsea and Arsenal goalkeeper made 443 appearances. This is the fifth-highest number of appearances by a Premier League goalie, equating to over 30 games per season.

Cech is one of the most decorated goalkeepers in the league, both in terms of trophies and records. His honors include winning the Premier League four times, the FA Cup four times, the Football League Cup three times and the FA Community Shield twice.

In terms of individual awards, he has claimed four Premier League Golden Glove trophies, and remains the only goalkeeper to win the accolade with two separate clubs. He’s also the Premier League’s career clean sheet leader at 202 and became the first goalkeeper to go 1,000 minutes without conceding a goal in the league. There may have been flashier or more famous Premier League goalkeepers, but few have been able to match the dominance of Petr Cech.

Peter Schmeichel

When the Premier League was founded in 1992, Manchester United’s Peter Schmeichel was already a Red Devil, though he had only made 53 appearances for the club. Schmeichel, at 28 years old, earned 18 clean sheets in his first Premier League season – playing a key role in United’s first Premier League win.

Schmeichel went on to win 11 additional domestic trophies over the next six seasons, including four Premier League titles. In fact, he has the most Premier League titles of any goalkeeper, and never concluded a season without a trophy in his seven-year United career. In addition, he never made fewer than 32 Premier League appearances in a season and averaged 16 league clean sheets.

The Danish legend was named to the Premier League’s overseas and overall Teams of the Decade in 2000. His stop against Newcastle United’s John Barnes in 1997 was also named the best save of the decade in the league. Schmeichel returned to the Premier League with Aston Villa and Manchester City after a two-year stay in Portugal. With the former, he became the first goalie in Premier League history to score a goal, and eventually finished his career with City.

Edwin Van Der Sar

When Edwin van der Sar joined newly-promoted Fulham FC in 2001, he was attempting to resurrect a career that had been severely harmed by a disastrous two-year stay with Juventus FC. Despite the fact that Van der Sar had only recently won the UEFA Champions League, he believed that a move to a new club in a fresh atmosphere with fewer expectations would give his career the boost it required.

Despite the fact that Fulham was not anticipated to be in the Premier League for long, the ‘flying Dutchman’ and his team overstayed their welcome. Van der Sar appeared in 127 Premier League games for Fulham over four seasons – keeping 42 league clean sheets. During Van der Sar’s tenure, Fulham never faced relegation, and they even finished in a club-record ninth place in 2003-04.

Manchester United signed Van der Sar in 2005 as a result of his outstanding performances. Despite the fact that he was 34 years old at the time of his move, Van der Sar had a second chance with the Red Devils.

Van der Sar won four Premier League titles and four domestic cups in six seasons between 2005 and 2011. He also won the Premier League Golden Glove in 2008-09 and the Best European Goalkeeper award in 2009. He was nearly 40 years old when he got the later award, demonstrating his incredible longevity. He finished his career with 132 Premier League clean sheets.

David Seaman

Seaman, who was already an established goalkeeper before the Premier League was formed in 1992, quickly established himself as one of the league’s best players. He twice led the Premier League in clean sheets with 20 in 1993-94 and 19 in 1999-2000, and he frequently challenged for the league’s best goalkeeper title with fellow ’90s great Peter Schmeichel.

As a member of Arsenal FC, Seaman won many domestic titles. Arsenal won the Premier League for the first time in 1998 and again in 2002, as well as four FA Cups. When the Premier League’s first decade came to a finish, he led all goalkeepers in clean sheets held, with 130, 11 more than Peter Schmeichel.

Seaman was named to the Premier League’s Domestic Team of the Decade in 2002, ahead of players such as Nigel Martyn, David James and Tim Flowers. In total, he has made more Premier League appearances for Arsenal than any other goalkeeper at 325. He’s also the only Arsenal goalkeeper with more than 100 Premier League clean sheets in his career, clocking in at 138, and one of only four Premier League goalkeepers with more than 140, reaching 141.

Pepe Reina

Pepe Reina has the highest clean sheet percentage of the 16 goalkeepers who have maintained more than 100 Premier League clean sheets in their careers at 45.79% — a testament to his outstanding shot-blocking and ball-handling skills.

Coach Rafael Benitez reportedly referred to Reina as “the best goalkeeper in Spain” after he joined Liverpool FC in 2005. That’s a lot of weight to place on a new signing, but Benitez’s words rung true right away. Reina dethroned club hero Jerzy Dudek from the starting lineup in his first season, and he guided the Reds to their first Premier League top-three finish since 2001. Reina also played in the 2006 FA Cup and the 2006 FA Community Shield, winning both.

Between 2005 and 2013, Reina appeared in 285 Premier League games for Liverpool. He was the first goalie to earn the club’s Player of the Season award in 2009-10, as well as the first goalkeeper to win three Premier League Golden Gloves at that time – taking home the award from 2006 to 2008.

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