15 Best Spanish Goalkeepers in the History of Football

Who is the best Spanish goalkeeper of all time?

Along with Italy and Germany, Spain is a European country that has produced many famous goalkeepers. Some of the goalkeepers do not only play in Spain, but they also establish career in various big clubs in different European football leagues. In regard to this fact, I present a list showing the ranking of 15 best Spanish goalkeepers of all time.

In addition to individual goalkeeping abilities, leadership skills and achievements with the national team and clubs are also considered in determining the ranking in this list. Be sure to vote for your favorite Spanish goalkeeper at the end of this article and please let me know your opinion about this ranking.

15. Manuel Almunia

Manuel Almunia is Spanish goalkeeper who performed well when he played for an English Premier League club, Arsenal. The English football fans were fascinated by Almunia's performance at the time, even he was rumored to be changing his citizenship in order to play for England national team. Unfortunately, his great forms with Arsenal did not last long. In 2010, Almunia rarely got a chance to play as a starter because the coach prefers to choose Szczęsny or Fabianski as the starting goalkeeper.

14. Diego Lopez

Diego Lopez should be praised because he finally able to take the position of Real Madrid's first-team goalkeeper from Iker Casillas in the 2013-2014 season. This player was raised in Real Madrid youth Academy, but he was forced to leave Real Madrid because he failed to get a place in the first team. His performance was highly praised when he played Villarreal. In this club, he managed to acquire the position as the first-team goalkeeper. He was re-signed by Real Madrid, and is currently performing quite consistently as the number one goalkeeper of this team.

13. Luis Arconada

Luis Arconada is one of the legendary players of Real Sociedad. This goalkeeper helped Sociedad won the La Liga twice and three times awarded the Zamora Trophy (an annual award given to the best goalkeeper in the Spanish league). Not only that, Arconada also became the captain of the Spanish national team for several years. Throughout his career, Arconada played in 414 matches in a period of 15 years as a Real Sociedad player.

12. José Manuel Pinto

Wild, fierce, but he is a very reliable goalkeeper. Pinto is known as Barcelona's second goalkeeper, the second choice after Victor Valdes. This player was signed by Barcelona from Celta Vigo after showing great performances with the club. As a Celta player, Pinto won the Intertoto Cup in 2000 and was awarded the Zamora Trophy title in the 2005-2006 season. In Barcelona, Pinto won four La Liga titles and two Champions League trophies.

11. José Ángel Iribar

Iribar was a goalkeeper who spent his entire 18-year career playing for Athletic Bilbao. He also became the main Spanish national team goalkeeper who won the Euro 1964 tournament. One of his best individual achievement was achieved in the 1970-1971 season, in which he didn't concede a single goal in ten consecutive matches. In addition to winning two La Liga titles with Bilbao, Iribar also won the Zamora Trophy in the 1969-1970 season.

10. Salvador Sadurní

Sadurni is the most loyal goalkeeper who have ever played for Barcelona, because he spent his entire career as a Barcelona player. He joined the team in the period 1960-1976 and played in a total of 247 matches. With Barcelona, he won a Spanish league title and three Copa Del Rey trophies. Sadurni also won the Zamora Trophy three times and included in the Spanish squad that won Euro 1964.

9. David De Gea

De Gea has somehow different career path compared to other Spanish goalkeepers., At his young age (21 years old) he decided to play abroad with one of the world's biggest clubs in the world, Manchester United. He was immediately trusted to be the club's first-team goalkeeper after their previous goalkeeper, Edwin van der Sar announced his retirement. De Gea managed to answer the trusts from the fans very well. He saved the team's goal many times and played a major role in helping Manchester United win the English League in the 2012-2013 season.

8. Pepe Reina

Pepe Reina was raised by Barcelona Youth Academy, but unfortunately he was forced to move to another club because he didn't get the chance to play in the Barcelona's first team. Surprisingly, his career with his new club, Villareal, went quite brilliantly. He was eventually signed by Liverpool in 2005 and was trusted to be the number one goalie this team for seven years. With Liverpool, Reina three times in a row was awarded as the best goalkeeper in Premier League from 2005 to 2008 seasons.

7. Santiago Canizares

Santiago Canizares is one of the best Valencia players who led this club win La Liga in the middle of the dominance of Barcelona and Real Madrid. Just like Pepe Reina and Diego Lopez who failed to get a place in the first team, Canizares left Madrid to join Valencia in 1998. In Valencia, he had brilliant career. Canizares is regarded as an important figure who helped Valencia won two Spanish League titles, one UEFA Cup trophy, and one Copa Del Rey trophy.

6. Francisco Buyo

Before the emergence of Iker Casillas, Francisco Buyo is regarded as Real Madrid's best goalkeeper of all time. This player played for Real Madrid from 1986 to 1997 and presented six Spanish league titles and two Spanish Cup trophies. Buyo also twice awarded the Zamora Trophy during his professional career. After his retirement, he works as a sports analyst on Al-Jazeera TV station.

5. Victor Valdes

Although he is often criticized for his frequent blunders, statistically Valdes is one of the best Spanish goalkeepers ever. He was awarded the Zamora Trophy five times, and could even win more trophies as his career as a footballer is still relatively long.

Valdes is raised by Barcelona Youth Academy. He has been selected as the club's first-choice goalkeeper since 2003. As a Barcelona player, Valdes won six La Liga titles, three Champions League trophies and two FIFA Club World Cup trophies.

4. Andoni Zubizarreta

Zubizarreta is the first-goalkeeper of the Spanish national team who played in four World Cups and three Euro tournaments. He also has a pretty impressive record, in which he performed 622 times in the Spanish league and only conceded 626 goals. In his 18-year career, Zubizarreta played for three big Spanish clubs, Barcelona, Valencia and Athletic Bilbao. With Barcelona, he won four La Liga titles and one Champions League trophy.

3. Antoni Ramallets

If there is a Barcelona goalkeeper who is considered more successful and more skillful than Zubizarreta or Victor Valdes, then he must be Antoni Ramallets. Ramallets played for Barca for 16 years, from 1946 to 1962. During this period, he helped Barcelona win six league titles and five Copa del Rey trophies. Not only that, he was also awarded five Zamora Trophy awards. Throughout his career, Ramallets played in 35 matches for Spanish national team.

2. Ricardo Zamora

Ricardo Zamora is often regarded as the best goalkeeper in the history of Spanish football by many pundits. His name is even used as the name of an annual award given to the best goalkeeper in Spanish league. Throughout his career from 1916 to 1937, Zamora played for three big Spanish clubs, Barcelona, Espanyol, and Real Madrid. One of his most memorable appearance was when he played for Spanish national team in a match against England in 1929. He managed to lead Spain to win the match, made several great saves, and played in full 90-minutes although his sternum was fractured.

1. Iker Casillas

In terms of goalkeeping abilities, leadership skills, and achievements that he won with the club and the national team, Iker Casillas is the one who should be crowned with the title of the best Spanish goalkeeper of all time. So far, Casillas has presented five La Liga titles and two Champions League trophies for Real Madrid. Not only that, Casillas is a Spanish first-team goalkeeper who won the World Cup 2010, Euro 2008 and Euro 2012. He was also named the best goalkeeper in the world by FIFA for five consecutive years, from 2008 to 2012.

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