The role of a goalkeeper is sometimes undermined due to how attack-minded modern football has become. Champion sides are always well protected at the back with a quality shot stopper. Here are 3 keepers who will make a difference for their nation in the Euros:
1) Thibaut Courtois: Courtois is one of the most highly rated keepers in world football. He has finally settled down at Real Madrid after his move from Chelsea a few seasons ago. Courtois kept the second highest number of clean sheets this season, only behind Jan Oblak. As Belgium have a back three which isn’t the quickest anymore, Courtois will have to be at his best if the Three Lions are to win the Euros. During the qualification round, he just conceded three goals in 10 games, which is a great sign for a side considered to be weak at the back.
2) Manuel Neuer: Manuel Neuer has been the best keeper of the 2010s and continues to perform at a very high level. He was arguably the best keeper last year which is supported by his inclusion in the Team of the Year. Just like Courtois, Neuer too doesn’t have the luxury of having a strong backline ahead of him which is why the onus will be on him to make crucial saves whenever called upon. Neuer’s goal keeping compatriot Ter Stegen as opted out of the Euros, which could offer an opportunity to Neuer to show why he deserves the number 1 jersey.
3) Peter Gulacsi: Hungarian shot stopper Peter Gulacsi might be a surprise inclusion here, but he has been brilliant for RB Leipzig in the last couple of seasons. He kept 15 clean sheets in the 2020-21 Bundesliga season, more than any keeper in the division. The reason for him being a fixture in this list is because he will be up against France, Germany and Portugal in the group stage. While Hungary’s qualification chances are very slim, Gulacsi could earn a few plaudits by making himself a hero this summer.