The goalkeeping position is the most critical post, as they are the last line of defense, they man the sticks with great strength to take everything head-on and always need to be on their toes to keep the opposition attackers at bay.
As we know, every team player gets his share of the glory and spoils in regards to their performance and goalkeepers are no exception to this.
While the above statement is an undeniable fact, we’ve seen many fantastic goalkeepers in between the stick who went on to become the best shot-stopper in football history.
While, on the other hand, we’ve also seen goalkeepers you wouldn’t want your team to be associated with.
Here are 10 of the worst goalkeepers
Goalkeepers are usually called into action by the opposing team, as such they’re often expected to protect the team from the inevitable, and when they make terrible gaffes they’re often faced with a lot of criticism from both the fans and media.
- Loris Karius – (Liverpool)
The German goalkeeper is a kind of man that depicts the popular saying that goes thus, ‘Fine boy no pimples‘.
Ironically the former Mainz 05 goalkeeper did hugely failed in combining his fine boy face and physic into his goalkeeping skill in games for Liverpool and Besiktas where he also failed woefully to establish himself
Karius was seen as one of the fast-rising goalkeepers in Germany, who passed through all Germany youth ranks from U16 to U21. Which is definitely an organic development for a young goalkeeper with a lot of potentials.
In his quest to become one of Die Mannschaft’s custodian. Manchester City loaned him to Mainz where he played for the reserve team, and eventually went on to play for the main team after his loan move was made permanent.
The German started his Mainz 05 career awesomely, kept nine clean sheets, saved two penalties. He was voted the second-best goalkeeper in a league poll of 235 Bundesliga players, ranking second behind Manuel Neuer in the 2015-16 campaign.
Having had a brilliant season with Mainz, Liverpool were tempted with his form and perhaps quality, and he was signed in 2016.
Unfortunately, his Liverpool career never comes close to the kind of form he showed the world back at Mainz, conceded 47 goals in his 49 Liverpool games. Of course, his Champions League final blunder is still very fresh in the memories of every Kop faithful and would make their list of worst goalkeepers.
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- Heurelho Gomes – (Watford)
The former Brazilian is another player on our list that also falls into the categories of worst goalkeepers. Gomes quality as the last man in between the stick came to fore back in the Eredivisie with PSV Eindhoven where he shone like a million stars.
After his impressive performances with the Dutch side, he was snapped up by Tottenham Hotspur, following his move down to White Hart Lane (now Tottenham Stadium).
He couldn’t replicate the kind of form and quality he showed at PSV with Tottenham when he got his chance man the stick despite then manager Harry Redknapp believing so much in him and his quality.
As time goes on at Tottenham, Gomes’s stint with the North London side was marred with a lot of gaffes. The fantastic Gomes that had an impressive display for PSV Eindhoven back in the Eredivisie, turned out to be an error-prone goalkeeper before he was later shipped to Watford.
- Gunnar Nielsen – (FH Hafnarfjordur)
The signing of Nielsen by Manchester City in 2009 from Blackburn Rovers will forever remain the weirdest signings the Cityzens ever made.
Looking at the fact that the keeper signed from Blackburn Rovers couldn’t even manage to get a single match appearance for the ‘Riverside’, very surprising right?
Nielsen City’s career can definitely be classified as perhaps a misfire in the club history and one of the worst goalkeepers.
Just like how his Blackburn Rovers career turned out, the same also applied to his City career which only lasted a total of fourteen minutes, where he came on to replace the injured former Ireland goalkeeper Shay Given.
Nielsen was so poor that he couldn’t even receive a call-up from his national team Faroe Island, despite how low in terms of quality the Islanders were, he still couldn’t found his way in there.
After his exit from Manchester City, he moved to Wrexham, Tranmere Rovers, and made just 6 match appearances combined for both clubs. He had 9 appearances with Silkeborg before he moved to Motherwell and Stjarnan where he relatively had some kind of decent appearances.
- Stephen Bywater – (Retired)
The English Premier League has indeed seen a lot of great goalkeepers in the between sticks wowed the fans, while on the other hand, it has also seen some set of funny goalkeepers with a very poor record.
Bywater is officially listed among the worst goalkeepers due to his poor stats in the history of the Premier League.
The Englishman played an important role in Derby County’s campaign in the English topflight appearing 19 times for the ‘Rams’.
He conceded more than 43 goals with only two clean sheets during his stint with Derby, before moving on to other clubs which includes Sheffield Wednesday, Millwall, Doncaster Rovers among others.
The former England U21 international truly deserves his place in this list as one of the worst goalkeepers in the world between 2010-20 as his stint with Derby, and the other clubs he donned their jersey simply showed how poor he was in between the stick.
- Peter Abrahamsson – (BK Hacken)
Goalkeepers are often seen as the messiah of a team especially when the team really needs them to come good and keep the opposing side at bay.
However, when a rush of blood comes to the fore in a match, the team of such goalkeeper would suffer greatly in the end.
Talking of rush of blood, that was exactly what happened to the Swedish goalkeeper with his former club Orgryte against Hammarby where he was sent off having deliberately handed the ball miles away from his box
Abrahamsson’s calamitous gaffe against Hammarby wasn’t just the only one he did make, his error against Hammarby will forever hunt him as a goalkeeper.
No wonder the former Sweden U19 shot-stopper didn’t really have a fantastic senior team stint except for the two caps he had in 2017.
- Peter Enckelman – (Retired)
The former Finnish goalkeeper is also one of the worst goalkeepers the footballing world has ever seen graced the pitch.
Enckelman enjoyed a number of stints with different clubs which include Cardiff City, Blackburn Rovers, and Hearts in the Scottish league.
Enckelman was most popular at Aston Villa, although not with impressive performances throughout his stay with the Midlands side.
Some of his gaffe that comes to mind and perhaps the one that tainted his career was the one he made in the Midlands derby against Birmingham City, where a throw-in was passed to him by his teammate (Mellberg) and surprisingly the ball rolled into the back of the net.
Following his embarrassing error against Birmingham City, there was love lost between him and the Aston Villa fans and was never himself throughout his spell with other clubs he played for. He only made two miserable appearances for Blackburn Rovers following his exit from Villa.
- Stuart Taylor – (Retired)
Been the third choice at Arsenal’s academy was a testament to how his goalkeeping career would turn out in the end, although Taylor did show a whole lot of potential with the Gunners youth team.
However, he couldn’t translate his potential into his game when he left Arsenal for Manchester City where he won the league with the city side.
Taylor’s stint with Aston Villa isn’t the kind a footballer would look back at and be happy. During his time with Aston Villa, he found it very hard to become a second choice goalkeeper, with Thomas Sorensen still very much in great form.
According to one of his statements where he said:
“I recalled been told that I would play if Sorensen is injured or in poor form, but the chance to play never materialized”, I kept been told that I would play this game or that game, and I never did.
Despite Taylor not getting enough chances to man the sticks for the Eastlands side despite Sorensen leaving the club, he further went down the pecking order behind Brad Friedel and Brad Guzan at the start of the 2008-09 campaign.
Taylor left Aston Villa having played just 12 league matches in 4 seasons.
- Tony Warner – (Retired)
Another contender for the worst goalkeepers of all time belongs to the much-maligned Englishman.
Warner notably played in the Premier League for Millwall, Fulham among other clubs.
However, Liverpool and Hull City can’t look back in time and really say a big thank you to the former Trinidad & Tobago goalkeeper, due to the fact that he didn’t play a single match for them.
He had a stint in the Scottish league with the league giants Celtic and Aberdeen.
We can simply say Warner had a nomadic career, he also played for Swindon Town in the lower league, Norwich City, Leeds United, Barnsley, Leicester City, Charlton Athletic, Tranmere Rovers, and Scunthorpe United.
Warner’s notable gaffe can be traced back to his days at Craven Cottage when Fulham was playing against Bolton in the 2007-08 campaign opener.
He allowed a throw in to dropped off his hands, and unfortunately, that error caused his team. Three days later he repeated a worrying mistake that led to a lame goal scored by the former Egypt international Mido.
- Charles Itandje – (Retired)
Thought of the erraticness of Bogdan and you definitely get a picture of the former Cameroonian international Itandje. Charles Itandje secured a move to Liverpool from RC Lens following an impressive performance in the French topflight.
Liverpool may have thought the former Cameroonian international would settle in seamlessly in the team, and perhaps go on to give the irreplaceable Pepe Reina a stiff competition.
He was signed as a backup to Pepe Reina at the time, he did manage just seven appearances including the humiliation at home to Barnsley in the FA Cup. Following his embarrassing performance in the FA Cup, Liverpool management had to sign a new back up goalkeeper as Itandje stint with Liverpool was term an awful spell.
Surprisingly, the English league is way different compared to Ligue I, and Itandje never came close.
- Adam Bogdan – (Ferencvaros)
Bogdan impressed Bolton with his superb performances after a couple of stretches in the 2011/12 campaign when Jussi Jaaskelainen suffered some injuries.
Games went by and he starting showing his true colors when he subsequently concedes 5 goals against Chelsea. He concedes another awful 102-yard goal from opposing keeper Tim Howard during a game against Everton.
Bodgan awful 20 Premier League appearances contributed to Bolton’s relegation.
Bogdan was seen as a bizarre signing for then Liverpool gaffer Brenden Rodgers, bringing him in the summer of 2015 as a back up to Mignolet.
Bogdan goes on to endure a nightmare in his debut for Liverpool against Watford, surprisingly they were humiliated by the Hornets with three goals to nil, dropping a corner kick which allowed Nathan Ake to put the ball at the back of the net just three minutes into the match.
Another costly mistake that comes to mind is Bogdan conceding a goal directly from a corner at Exeter, a horrible mistake that didn’t help his Liverpool’s career before he was finally shipped out.
- Kepa Arrizabalaga
As of now, Kepa is the most expensive goalkeeper in the history of football.
He can’t seem to make any move to save his life neither the ball and his statistically the worst keeper in the Premier League.
Judging by his bloopers and gaffes, we can’t help but list him as a special in our list of worst goalkeepers.
Kepa Arrizabalaga has the worst save percentage of any keeper in the Premier League (55.4%).
127th — Out of 132 keepers from Europe’s top seven leagues, Kepa ranks 127th in save percentage.
- Kepa has the worst save percentage in Premier League history (to play 10+ games), with 54.5%. 730th place.
- Kepa has conceded 8% of Chelsea’s Premier League goals since 1992 in 2 years.
- Kepa 14/47 goals conceded this season, he didn’t move (30%).
This isn’t to backlash the Spaniard, he is just not good enough to man the stick for the west London club for now. Perhaps he needs to learn, relearn how to keep, and do away with blunders.
A piece of sweet advice to all teams facing Chelsea when Kepa is manning the stick, just shoot.
Don’t forget to check out Today’s prediction (cheapgoals.com/prediction)
3 Premier League Flops Who Made It Big Elsewhere
The English Premier League has welcomed some of the best players in the history of football. Players from different continents have made a huge impact on the league with impressive performances. There are others who failed to impress and can be termed as flops.
The League is quite unique from other European leagues. It is more competitive, fierce, physically challenging in nature. Needless to say, a player who isn’t mentally and physically geared up for this will stumble under the pressure.
Established stars can fall by the wayside with their former successes and triumphs becoming nothing more than a footnote in the EPL. Impressively, some of these players put in impressive performances when they moved to other leagues.
3 Premier League Flops Who Made It Big In Other Leagues
Following the impending sale of Gareth Bale to Real Madrid, Tottenham bought several players, one of the players they bought was Paulinho.
Paulinho was signed from Corinthians in Brazil where he helped them win the Copa Libertadores, Brasileirao, and the FIFA Club World Cup.
They defeated Chelsea in the latter to lift the trophy. Importantly, he had just won the FIFA Confederations Cup with Brazil and was voted as the third-best player at the tournament.
He joined Tottenham as the club’s record signing in 2013, so a lot was expected of him. However, his performance was not as impressive as the club had envisaged. He was later sold to Guangzhou Evergrande in China at a loss.
The Brazilian’s transfer to the Chinese league resulted in a change of fortunes, as helped the club claim the Chinese league and the AFC Champions League title in his first season.
In the second, he was voted into the Chinese League team of the year in recognition of his performance. Also, he won the league, FA Cup, and Super Cup.
Although critics downplayed his performance, citing the standard of the Chinese league compared to the English league, Paulinho impressed in Spain too following a €40 million move to Barcelona.
Paulinho helped the club claim the league and the Copa del Rey trophy. His performance in his only season with Barcelona impressed Ronaldinho who said: “He really stood out.”
- Iago Aspas
Most Premier League fan remembers Aspas only as a Liverpool flop with the number 9 jersey. Aspas moved from boyhood club Celta Vigo to Liverpool for a deal estimated to be around £7.7 m, with Liverpool hoping to have unearthed a gem. However, that gem turns dregs, failing to score in any of his 14 league appearances.
After just one season, Liverpool decided that they have seen enough so they sent him on a season-long loan to Sevilla with an obligation to buy. In his season-long loan at the club, he was the joint top scorer in the Copa del Rey alongside Neymar with 7 goals and won the UEFA Europa League.
At the end of his season-long loan at Sevilla, the club signed him from Liverpool but sold him to Celta Vigo in the same transfer window. In every of his first 5 seasons at Celta Vigo, he scored in double digits.
In fact, in three of the 5 seasons, he won the Zarra Trophy awarded to the Spanish player with the most league goals in a season. As of December 2020, Aspas had won La Liga player of the month four times.
- Diego Forlan
Perhaps, the most notable and interesting English Premier League flop who became a star in another League. He was not just impressive in another league; he was extraordinary with his National team Uruguay.
Sir Alex Ferguson signed Forlan in 2001 following the attacker’s impressive form at Independiente in Argentina. In his first season in England, Forlan made 18 appearances but failed to score a single goal. The two seasons after were not impressive either, hence his transfer to Villarreal.
Impressively, Forlan scored 25 league goals in his first season with Villarreal and won the league’s top scorers award (2004/05). Also, he was awarded the European Golden Shoe award alongside Thierry Henry the same year. He left the club two seasons later for Atletico with 59 goals scored in 128 matches.
In his second season with Atletico Madrid (2008/09), Forlan beat Samuel Eto’o to the Spanish league’s top scorer’s award. He scored 32 league goals in 33 league appearances that season which earned him the Pichichi trophy. Again, he won the European Golden Shoe but this time it was not shared with anyone.
The next season (2009/10), Forlan played a key role as Atletico won the Europa League. He scored six times in the tournament, including two in the 2-1 win over Fulham in the final. He was voted as the man of the match in the final.
With his national team, he was just as impressive; he scored the most goals at the 2010 FIFA World Cup alongside Thomas Muller, Wesley Sneijder, and David Villa.
Furthermore, he was voted into the FIFA World Cup dream team and won the Golden Ball and goal of the tournament title. By the time he retired, he was Uruguay’s highest goal scorer in history, a record which has since been broken by Luis Suarez.
Forlan eventually became so good that some Football fans think he is the caliber of player that could have won the Ballon d’Or.
There are several reasons why players struggle when they change clubs, especially to other countries. Culture, language, teammates, family are some factors that can affect their performances.
These 3 cases show that a player may fail to perform in one league but go on to become a star in another league.
Top 15 Highest Paid Players In Ligue 1
Ligue 1 no doubt harbors quite a number of talented players, as such it’s quite understandable for those considered to be world-class players among them to cash out hugely on what they earn at the end of the month.
As of late, the players’ salaries have given indications of solid development, on account of the tremendous income pouring into the game. The fierce rivalry between the country’s top football clubs has brought the nature of the competition higher than ever. The league has more than its own fair share of highly paid players.
Here is a rundown of the top 15 highest-paid players in the Ligue 1
- Neymar Jr – (Paris Saint Germain, – €3.06 Per Month )
Behind Ronaldo and Messi, the Brazilian forward is regarded as the third-best player in world football since moving from Santos to Barcelona in 2013 for a deal reported worth €86.2million.
After apparently growing and widening his status as a footballer with his achievement on and off the pitch, it was evident that the former Puskas Award winner would go on to attract top elite clubs.
With the Parisian club brimming with a lot of cash to flex muscles with high spending clubs, it was just a matter of time before Neymar would join them. Fast forward to 2017, the Selecao captain signed for PSG for a world record transfer fee worth €222million, and since then he’s been an important figure of both the club and their project.
Amidst transfer rumors of him returning to his old home Barcelona, plus the fact that the Parisian are also ready to offer him a new deal that would tie him down with the French side for at least another three seasons.
- Kylian Mbappe – (Paris Saint Germain, € 1.91m Per Month)
As a World Cup winner and one of the best prospects in world football, it’s quite understandable for Mbappe to be among the highest-paid players in Ligue 1 and Paris Saint Germain. The 2018 World Cup winner burst into the scene as a young player for Monaco, making his professional debut in 2015 at the age of 15.
The Frenchman signed for the Parisian club in 2017 on loan, which was later made permanent in 2018. He has shown to be a great prospect for both the club and their project in dominating the Ligue 1 and also flex muscles with the top clubs in Europe.
His permanent transfer to Paris Saint Germain is reported to be worth €180million, making him both the second most expensive player and most expensive teenager. Since joining the Ligue 1 Champions permanently, the 22-year-old has scored over 120 goals for the Parisian club.
However, amidst the rumor of Real Madrid prepping up to break the bank in their quest to bring him down to the Bernabeu, the World Cup winner is still actively the second biggest earner in the league and of course Paris Saint Germain.
- Correa Marquinhos & Marco Verratti – (Paris Saint Germain, €1.2m Per Month)
Since the departure of top players such as Edinson Cavani, Zlatan, and recently Thiago Silva, Marquinhos’s status has risen from being a mere squad player in the dressing room into a leader, captain, and one of the best gladiator of the club.
As a 19-year-old teenager, the Brazilian was signed in 2013 on a five-year deal by Paris Saint Germain from AS Roma for a fee of around €31.4million. And as reported by BBC Sport, the deal was said to be the highest transfer fee for a teenager then, while Sky also reports it to be the then fifth highest transfer.
The current form of the Brazilian makes him rank as one of Europe’s most valuable players, most especially as a player who is currently plying his trade with the best team in France.
According to the transfer market rating, Marquinhos market value currently stands at €70million, as such with his years of experience and playing over 313 matches for the Parisian, it’s no surprise that the club captain takes home €1.2m per month tied with the Italian on the same amount.
As for the Italian, he’s also been a very instrumental player for the team since joining the club nine years ago. There have always been rumors concerning his future, either joining Barcelona or go back to Italy, but as it stands his current contract with Paris Saint Germain would expire in 2024.
- Angel Di Maria – (Paris Saint Germain, €1.1m Per Month)
Since joining the Parisian for €63million after a disappointing stint with Manchester United in 2015, the Argentine winger has continued to prove to the world that he’s still one of the best players in football since leaving Real Madrid.
Di Maria isn’t just rank among the highest earner for doing nothing, he earns his pay through his brilliant performances over the years since joining them, accumulating a total of 251 appearances scoring over 88 goals and 104 assists.
The former Real Madrid winger may not stay in the Ligue 1 with Paris Saint Germain for three years or more, as he’s already moving close to the end of his career. However, with his deal still running that makes him the fourth-highest earner in the league.
- Keylor Navas – (Paris Saint Germain, €1m Per Month)
When Navas joined Madrid from Levante in the summer of 2014, no one ever thought he’s going to achieve quite a number of success with Los Blancos based on where he was coming from and his antecedent as a goalkeeper.
After a successful stint with Los Merengues, the imminent arrival of Thibaut Courtois means the Costa Rican goalkeeper days at Real Madrid are numbered.
With his achievement at Real Madrid, it was evident that the Costa Rican won’t find it hard to get good European suitor to come by, as such Paris Saint Germain came calling for his services in 2019 having been told he won’t be Real Madrid number one going forward into the new season.
Following Navas’s move to the French capital, it means his salary would be on the high side based on his achievement and reputation as a Champions League winner with arguably the biggest club in Europe.
As a Paris Saint Germain player, he earns €1m per month, making the Costa Rican one of the highest-paid players in Ligue 1
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- Mauro Icardi – (Paris Saint Germain, €800,000 Per Month)
The imminent departure of El Matador when Icardi joined Paris Saint Germain on loan means the responsibility of goalscoring would be on the shoulder of the Argentine. The former Inter Milan forward made his loan permanent with the PSG following a strong start in Paris.
The Argentine and controversy certainly go hand in hand based on his antecedent with his previous clubs. Everywhere he goes he has always shown he could lead the line perfectly, and since he joined the Parisian permanently no report of controversy has been recorded concerning the former Nerazzurri captain.
Icardi may not be the poster boy of PSG just like his days at Inter, that doesn’t make him less of a player in the dressing room among other star players like Neymar and Mbappe who are no doubt the face of the club.
- Leandro Paredes – (Paris Saint Germain, €750,000 Per Month)
Juan Bernat – (Paris Saint Germain, €700,000 Per Month)
Presnel Kimpembe – (Paris Saint Germain, €670,000 Per Month)
Ander Herrera – (Paris Saint Germain, €650,000 Per Month)
Wissam Ben Yedder – (Monaco, €650,000 Per Month)
Cesc Fabregas – (Monaco, €600,000 Per Month)
Julian Draxler – (Paris Saint Germain, €600,000 Per Month)
Idrissa Guaye – (Paris Saint Germain, €500,000 Per Month)