Let’s be honest: one of the all-time weaknesses for the England national team is the lack of top-level goalkeepers. Unlike other far more successful national teams who have had great top-level goalkeepers for many years (Buffon, Khan, Neuer, Casillas, just to mention a few in recent history), England has always suffered from a lack of trusty long career goalkeepers.
While some football players like Joe Hart and Jordan Pickford have been more than good goalkeepers in recent years, to find the best goalkeepers in English history, you need to step back in time. Claim it here!
In third place in the standings we can find the extrovert David Seaman, spectacular for his characteristic look with long hair and mustaches, as well as for his plays on the verge of madness and some mistakes that have marked English football (as on the goal from the midfield line by Ronaldinho during the 2002 World Cup). The goalkeeper who for many years has played for Arsenal is the second most capped keeper ever in England’s history, as well as keep the second most clean sheets; both behind Peter Shilton.
Peter Shilton is arguably the greatest English goalkeeper ever, at least according to his stats. The Leicester-born footballer has played 1005 games in his career for more than 30 years among professionals, making more than 100 appearances for at least five clubs he has played for (Leicester, Stoke City, Nottingham Forest, Southampton and Derby County) .
Shilton is the most capped football player in the England National team with 125 appearances on the pitch. At the same time he is the goalkeeper with the most clean sheets in English history, with 52.8%. He is also the English footballer who can boast more appearances in World Cup finals matches (17 matches within three World Cup’s editions).
It is curious to note how the best series of consecutive clean sheets (10) in history, matched only by Frenchman Fabien Barthez, was set by Shilton himself after the Maradona’s “infamous Hand of God” incident during the 1986 World Cup.
Although the Sheffield goalkeeper’s stats aren’t record-breaking, Gordon Banks is without a doubt the most loved goalkeeper in the history of the England national team. Banks is considered by many to be one of the best goalkeepers ever, thanks to his ability to stop all shots on goal, holding the ball firmly in his hands.
In his first World Cup Banks conceded only one goal (penalty against Portugal), leading England to their first and only cup victory. Four years later Banks is the protagonist of one of the most beautiful saves in history, on a Pele header. Unfortunately, the goalkeeper had to leave the 1970 World Cup during the quarter-finals due to an injury, marking England’s defeat against West Germany.
Gordon Banks has 73 caps with the National team and 35 clean sheets; most of all he is the only English keeper to ever win the World Cup.