We take a look at the best performing goalkeepers in Europe over the past two years - and using an interactive infographic you can test your own theories on which keeper is the current No1.
From existing statistics, we've found Gigi Buffon, Real Madrid's Diego Lopez, Chelsea great Petr Cech, Napoli's Pepe Reina - via Liverpool, Fulham shot-stopper Maarten Stekelenburg and former Cagliari No1 Michele Agazzi the best performers.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, the best performing keeper of the last two seasons was Juventus’ Buffon who conceded 9.5 goals less than the average keeper would have when in the same situation. In third place, and proving our point that good keepers need to be judged on more than just goals conceded was Agazzi of Cagliari in Italy who despite conceding almost three times the amount of Buffon, actually saved his team 8.3 goals that an average keeper would have conceded.
So, how do you judge a goalkeeper? The first and most popular answer is always against goals conceded. Of course, the keeper of a big team, with a world class defence in front of him will, invariably have better stats than those of a keeper who plays for a weaker team when judged by this standard . This is one of the main reasons that the goalkeeper of the year is almost always from one of the big teams.
In order to get a more statistical sound view on who was the best goalkeeper really over the last two years, we examined all shots taken from the 2011/2012 and 2012/2013 seasons and how the various keepers across Europe handled them. The reasoning behind this was simple – a goalkeeper standing behind a world class defence will, generally speaking, face less dangerous shots as his defence would have dealt with the threat first. Thus it was important to separate the shots by a difficulty level. The various difficulty levels were determined on the basis of a number of different parameters, not too dissimilar to those used in the expected goals post. The parameters used here included the goalkeeper’s positioning, position of the player taking the shot and the power and accuracy of the shot, amongst others.
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