Golden Glove Preview

Goalkeepers usually remain under the radar coming into a global event, it might be the nature of their position or just the expectation of their duty – but this year might be slightly different.

This is an award which is based solely on individual performance; however, it is still linked to relying on your nation to get some way through the tournament and give their keeper a chance.

Legends like Iker Casillas, Gianluigi Buffon, Oliver Kahn and Fabien Barthez all have this coveted prize in their cabinet and whilst be a difficult award to win – it rightfully separates the ability and talent between the sticks.

The Contenders:

Unai Simon

Although his inclusion has raised a couple eyebrows, Unai Simon has been a revelation for the Spanish national side. Luis Enrique has been crystal clear about his need for a sweeper Keeper (hence the David de Gea exclusion) and in Simon you have a rather interesting choice.

He hasn’t exactly clothed himself in glory in previous national tournaments, but I think the way Spain will look to play brings his name into contention. Simon has contributed to Spanish performances, and if he is able to replicate his domestic performances, I think at … he could be a good option.

Alisson Becker

This is another Brazilian player who has seemingly regained his mojo a little this season. Alisson has at times quite literally been the reason for Liverpool remaining competitive in games and his dynamic approach to goalkeeping often sets him apart from his contenders.

I think he has secured his starting position over Ederson – which I don’t think was as straightforward. My only remaining point of concern might be the defensive line he has in front of him. Brazil has a tired and often weary looking line of defence and the reality at these tournaments is that if they allow their keeper to be put under immense pressure continuously – well it becomes almost impossible to remain competitive. 

Thibaut Courtois

You can’t leave out the Golden Glove winner from 2018 now, could you? Courtois looks to once again be in supreme form coming into the World Cup, and although Belgium isn’t necessarily on my radar to do anything magical – their keeper might still have something to say about that.

Thibaut Courtois is arguably the best keeper in the world now, he has had another immense season for Real Madrid, and I suspect he might be interested in making a point at the World Cup. His teammate – Karim Benzema – walked away with the best player in the world from UEFA, and Courtois split opinion with his comments after the fact!

I think a pumped up, playing with a chip on his shoulder, version of Courtois isn’t something to ignore and at … I wouldn’t leave him out.

Prediction: Thibaut Courtois (12/1)

Ryan Liberty