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5 Goalkeepers in the past who illustrated incredible goalscoring ability

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5 goalkeepers in the past who illustrated incredible goalscoring ability 

Ever since its origin, the onus in football has always been on scoring goals and that has allowed several strikers and midfielders to steal most of the limelight that the beautiful game has had to offer.

Probably around three-quarters of the total number of footballers who have gained legendary status in the game over the past century have been offensive-minded players, with a few exceptions, of course. 

However, the heroics of some of the goalkeepers to have graced the game have long been forgotten and it won’t be unfair to say that the shot-stoppers are often the most under heralded heroes of football. 

Indeed, it is not very often that we see the goalkeepers making the headlines in the tabloids for positive reasons, although the media and the pundits probably don’t leave any stone unturned in slamming them when they let their teams down with occasional slip-ups. 

Football, as a game, has changed a lot over the years and the dynamic and versatile nature of the modern game necessitates players to hone their skills in such a way that they have a wide range of attributes to offer on the pitch. 

For instance, centre-backs, nowadays, are judged based on their ball-playing skills while attacking midfielders are expected to play in multiple positions in the final third.

The ever-changing demands of the beautiful game have also forced goalkeepers to adopt a more dynamic role at the back, with the concept of a modern-day sweeper-keeper making sure that the influence of shot-stoppers is no longer limited to their penalty area. 

We are all quite used the likes of Ederson Moraes and Manuel Neuer, both of whom have illustrated a high level of proficiency in the modern game when it comes to rushing out of the penalty area in order to act as a sweeper for the backline.

Just to remind the fans, the concept of a sweeper-keeper was established in the 1980s and 90s by some of the greats of the game, so much so that some of them even showcased incredible goalscoring prowess.

It is a rare occurrence to see goalkeepers get their names on the scoresheet but there have been a few instances when goalkeepers have defied the old traditional style of play to take their game to new heights by finding the net regularly.

With that in mind, let us look at 5 goalkeepers who have cemented their names in the history books of the beautiful game with notable goalscoring records.

1. Rogerio Ceni

A former 16-cap Brazilian international, Rogerio Ceni currently holds the record for the most number of goals scored by a goalkeeper, having accumulated an eye-watering tally of 131 goals.

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A one-team player for Brazilian giants Sao Paulo, Ceni made a total of 1257 appearances over the course of an illustrious and distinguished club career that stretched over 25 years. 

He won the Golden Ball award at the 2005 FIFA Club World Cup where Sao Paulo beat Liverpool 1-0 in the finals, which was one of the 20 major honours that he won with the club, including 3 Brazilian league titles and two Copa Libertadores crowns. 

A part of the Brazilian team that won the 1997 FIFA Confederations Cup and the 2002 FIFA World Cup, Ceni also represented his nation at the 2006 FIFA World Cup, although he had a largely quiet international career due to the presence of Dida in the scheme of things. 

Ceni carved out a massive reputation for his accurate free-kicks, good distribution, incredible skills on the ball, as well as superb reflexes and reliable shot-stopping abilities, and he has undoubtedly redefined the art of goalkeeping. 

2. Jose Luis Chilavert

Known for his strong personality, fiery temper, morality and leadership skills, former Paraguayan international Jose Luis Chilavert scored 67 goals in a professional career which stretched over two decades.

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In fact, Chilavert also holds the unique record of scoring a hat-trick as a goalkeeper in a club match as well as the feat of scoring the most number of international goals by a goalkeeper, having scored 8 in 74 appearances for Paraguay.

Widely acclaimed as a fast and agile shot-stopper during his prime years in the 1990s, Chilavert won as many as 12 club titles playing for several South American clubs, most notably Velez Sarsfield, Real Zaragoza in Spain and Strasbourg in France, winning the Coupe de France with the latter.

A part of Paraguay’s team for 1998 and 2002 FIFA World Cups, Chilavert scored most of his goals from free-kicks and penalties.

3. Jorge Campos

Mexico’s Jorge Campos was probably a goalkeeper from another planet, having exhibited the rare versatility to play in his preferred position between the sticks and also as a striker.

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We don’t often see goalkeepers with a height of 5ft 6in do very well in their professional careers but Campos made up for his relative lack of height with his incredible leaping ability, agility between the sticks, razor-sharp reflexes, anticipation and flawless reading of the game.

Surprising as it might sound, Campos would sometimes be called upon by the manager to join the attack in times of crisis, with another goalkeeper brought on in place of an outfield player. Campos scored a total of 34 goals in his professional career, including a stunner with a bicycle-kick in 1997.

The diminutive shot-stopper, who enjoyed a successful playing career with the likes of Cruz Azul and UNAM Pumas in Mexico, as well as with LA Galaxy and Chicago Fire in the United States, established himself as one of the best sweeper-keepers in the 1990s.

He became famous for his self-designed colourful kits and fearless style of play, which involved venturing out of his penalty area to take on outfielders single-handedly.

Campos earned a total of 130 international caps for Mexico and represented his nation at the 1994 and 1998 FIFA World Cups, whilst also winning the 1999 FIFA Confederations Cup and the CONCACAF Gold Cup on two occasions in 1993 and 1996. 

4. Rene Higuita

Another eccentric and fearless sweeper-keeper from the late 80s to the early 2000s, Colombia’s Rene Higuita is still remembered for his incredible scorpion-kick clearance in an international friendly against England at the Wembley Stadium in 1995.

Higuita performs the 'scorpion' save

Higuita’s unorthodox style of play, which involved coming out of his penalty areas and taking unnecessary risks with the ball at his feet, was first showcased to the global audience at the 1990 FIFA World Cup. He inspired other keepers of his generation to assume more responsibility further up the pitch.

Although those forays didn’t always yield positive results, with Roger Milla’s goal in the World Cup being a prime example, Higuita always kept the fans engaged more often than not.

A reliable free-kick and penalty taker, Higuita scored a total of 41 goals in his professional career and featured for several Colombian clubs like Independiente Medellin, Atletico Nacional and Atletico Junior, as well as Real Valladolid in Spain. 

On the international front, Higuita accumulated a total of 68 caps for Colombia and represented his nation at several Copa America tournaments.

5. Hans-Jorg Butt

The solitary European name on the list, former German international Hans-Jorg Butt scored a total of 32 goals in his professional career and holds the record for scoring the most number of penalty goals in any top European league (Bundesliga). 

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A former Bundesliga winner with Bayern Munich and a three-time UEFA Champions League runner-up, Butt was known for his impeccable penalty-taking ability as well as his knack for often running into the opposing penalty box in an attempt to find a winner whenever his team were trailing.

Butt represented Germany just four times at the senior level due to the dominance of contemporaries Oliver Kahn and Jens Lehmann, although he was in the squad for the UEFA Euro 2000 and the 2002 FIFA World Cup.

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Arsenal

Liverpool vs Arsenal: Match Preview, Team news, Predicted XI and more

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Liverpool vs Arsenal: Match Preview, Team news, Prediction and more

Liverpool host Arsenal at Anfield on Saturday with both teams hoping to extend their 100% domestic record with the third win of their Premier League season.

The Reds thrashed Norwich 4-1 in the Premier League curtain-raiser before edging past Southampton 2-1 on Saturday. Sandwiched in between was their UEFA Super Cup triumph against Chelsea in Istanbul, Turkey.

The Gunners have also enjoyed a perfect start to their season, thanks to wins over Newcastle and Burnley, but the trip to Merseyside will represent their first acid test of the new season.

Arsenal’s recent visits to Anfield have been embarrassing, to say the least. Liverpool have scored 22 goals out of 30 in some staggering victories against the north London club in recent times. So, Unai Emery has a mighty task of changing the scenario at the weekend.

Team News

For Liverpool, Alisson Becker has a suspected grade two tear and is not expected to be fit for the Arsenal game. Naby Keita has a muscle problem and will miss Saturday’s game, while Nathaniel Clyne is a long-term casualty.

Arsenal’s Hector Bellerin is continuing his recovery from a cruciate ligament injury, although he won’t be available anytime soon. New signing Kieran Tierney remains unavailable due to a groin problem but Rob Holding has participated in full training with the first-team squad.

Granit Xhaka could return after missing the Burnley win while Mesut Ozil was absent due to illness and is back in full training now.

Predicted XIs

Liverpool (4-3-3): Adrian; Trent Alexander-Arnold, Joel Matip, Virgil van Dijk, Andrew Robertson; Fabinho, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Georginio Wijnaldum; Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino, Sadio Mane.

Arsenal (3-5-2): Bernd Leno; Ainsley Maitland-Niles, Sokratis Papastathopoulos, David Luiz, Nacho Monreal, Sead Kolasinac; Matteo Guendouzi, Granit Xhaka, Dani Ceballos; Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Alexandre Lacazette.

Tactical Prediction

Jurgen Klopp should go with his usual 4-3-3 formation on Saturday. Adrian will continue to deputise in goal, with Alexander-Arnold, Matip, Van Dijk and Robertson forming the back-four.

Having Fabinho as the shield in front of the back-four, the likes of Wijnaldum and Chamberlain should get the free license to join the attacks often and cause problems to the Arsenal defence.

Liverpool’s high press is very difficult to contain and the onus will be on Chamberlain to help drive the attack from the midfield.

The Reds are powered by their front three of Mane, Firmino and Salah. They are slowly starting to hit form but given their fantastic record at Anfield against Arsenal, Klopp will expect his fiery front three to deliver the goods.

Unai Emery, on the other hand, could revert to a back-three system on Saturday. It is a system in which many of the Arsenal central defenders feel comfortable.

David Luiz is the best ball-playing defender of the lot and he will be accompanied by Sokratis and Monreal at the back, with Maitland-Niles and Kolasinac as wing-backs.

The Gunners will look to use the width while hitting Liverpool on the counter as full-backs Alexander-Arnold and Robertson are defensively suspect and provide a lot of space behind them due to their natural attacking mindset.

Guendouzi has started the season encouragingly and should be partnered in the midfield by Xhaka, and Ceballos, who royally impressed with his performance against Burnley. It’ll be vital for Arsenal’s midfield to nullify the threat of Wijnaldum and Chamberlain while in transition.

As record-signing Pepe is still being eased in, Emery is expected to go with the two-pronged attack of Aubameyang and Lacazette. Liverpool have been shaky at the back so far in the new season, which could present Lacazette and Aubameyang with some chances to pounce on.

Predicted Result

It’ll be a wild contest in front of the ever-boisterous Anfield crowd. Expect Liverpool to dominate possession, press very hard, force mistakes and pounce on it.

Also, expect their backline to make a couple of errors and get punished by Arsenal’s attack. Nevertheless, the game should end in favour of the Reds.

Prediction: Liverpool 4-2 Arsenal

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Arsenal? Manchester United? – Which of the big clubs will achieve a top-4 finish in the PL this season?

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Arsenal, Chelsea, Tottenham, Man United- who will miss out on top four?

The 2018/19 Premier League title race went down to the wire, with Manchester City beating Liverpool to the crown by just a point. The team that followed them were Chelsea, Tottenham, Arsenal and Manchester United respectively.

The new season is just two games old and Liverpool and Arsenal are the only teams to have enjoyed a 100% record thus far, after Manchester United dropped points in the 1-1 draw with Wolves at Molineux on Monday.

We saw an entertaining battle between Manchester City and Tottenham end in a 2-2 draw at the Etihad last weekend, with VAR’s intervention denying the champions a late winner. These are early days but the Premier League table is shaping up very well.

Image result for Manchester United

Manchester City, Liverpool, Tottenham, Chelsea, Manchester United and Arsenal have comprised the table’s top six in each of the previous three seasons.

Considering City and Liverpool are set to battle it out again for the Premier League title, which two teams amongst Chelsea, Tottenham, Arsenal and Manchester United will make it to the top four this time? Let’s have a look.

Chelsea

Just two games into the new season, Chelsea manager Frank Lampard is already under pressure to find some tactical answers as he is still seeking his first Premier League victory.

After the opening day mauling at the hands of Manchester United at Old Trafford, Chelsea’s performances improved in the UEFA Super Cup defeat to Liverpool and the 1-1 draw with Leicester City at the weekend, although Lampard’s men were lucky to escape with a point.

The Blues’ transfer window embargo meant Lampard couldn’t strengthen his squad in the summer. The 41-year-old had to be content with the squad set up by Maurizio Sarri but without Eden Hazard, who joined Real Madrid.

Hazard contributed directly to half of Chelsea’s league goals last season, and their attack was almost totally reliant on him. The Belgian’s departure has left a huge void and that coupled with the exits of experienced defenders Gary Cahill and David Luiz, Lampard’s Chelsea are set for a long season.

Prediction: There have been more negatives than positives in Chelsea’s first two league games and while Lampard will take time to give his side a fixed style of play, it’s difficult to see the Blues making it to the top four.

Tottenham

Against all odds, Tottenham reached the Champions League final last season only to fail at the final hurdle. A combination of their European exploits and a failure to make new signings saw their Premier League form suffer.

However, Spurs spent heavily this summer, signing players like Tanguy Ndombele, Giovani Lo Celso and Ryan Sessegnon.

Pochettino’s side have started the new campaign well, taking four points out of a possible six. Despite the departures of Kieran Trippier, Fernando Llorente and Vincent Janssen, Tottenham have been boosted by their new signings and can better last season’s finish.

Prediction: If Pochettino can keep Harry Kane fit throughout the season and get the best out of his new signings, Tottenham can threaten to make it a three-horse title race this time around.

Arsenal

There is a real buzz at Arsenal because of the arrival of new faces at the Emirates and the rollicking start they have made to the new campaign.

Victories over Newcastle and Burnley means that the Gunners have enjoyed a perfect start, although a trip to Liverpool beckons at the weekend. Considering their recent visits to Anfield, it could be all doom and gloom for the North London giants.

Nevertheless, Unai Emery will be happy with the start and would expect things to get better. On loan from Real Madrid, Dani Ceballos made quite an impact on his full debut against Burnley, while the fans also saw glimpses of quality from star man, Nicolas Pepe.

But the Gunners still look defensively shaky and that was visible in the game against Burnley.

David Luiz’s acquisition from Chelsea on the transfer deadline day was a coup but his track-record of clumsy and erratic defending will hardly fill Bernd Leno with confidence.

Then there is the error-prone Shkodran Mustafi, an ageing Sokratis Papastathopoulos and a not-yet-fit Rob Holding in central defence.

Prediction: While Pepe has given a different threat and dynamism to the Arsenal attack, Emery’s defence could again plot his downfall. They’ll miss Aaron Ramsey’s midfield vigour and big-game performances. Frankly, the Gunners won’t make it to the top four this season.

Manchester United

Despite a frustrating transfer window, Manchester United brought three new players in Daniel James, Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Harry Maguire. And all three of the new signings have made an impact in the first two weeks of the new season, helping the Red Devils bag four points out of a possible six.

Ever since Sir Alex Ferguson retired in 2013, Manchester United have only made the Premier League top-four twice. This shows just how far they’ve fallen from grace.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer wants to bring the glory days back at Old Trafford by promoting young players and playing relentless attacking football.

United were defensively shambolic last season and Solskjaer strengthened his backline with the additions of Maguire and Wan-Bissaka. They lacked natural width as well and Solskjaer addressed it by bringing in the explosive Daniel James, who is also direct in his style of play.

The United boss has let go of Romelu Lukaku to Inter but didn’t sign a replacement. This seems like a plan to promote academy starlet Mason Greenwood.

Prediction: Going by the first two games, the Red Devils look more composed and secure at the back. Solskjaer’s army looks weak in the midfield and an injury to either Paul Pogba or any central midfielder could see them sweat.

Genuinely, though, the players seem sharper and fit, attacking with pace and hitting opponents on the counter. Despite some obvious weaknesses, the Red Devils’ immediate objective of steady improvement and a return to the top four seems possible.

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Where will the 3 newly promoted teams finish this season? Can Norwich and Aston Villa beat the drop?

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PL prediction: Where will the 3 newly promoted teams finish this season?

Norwich City, Sheffield United and Aston Villa are the three newly-promoted teams that have come into the Premier League this season.

Only once in Premier League history have all three promoted teams dropped straight back down, and that was back in 1997-98.

Furthermore, there have been three instances when all three promoted teams have survived, most recently in 2017-18, when Newcastle United, Brighton & Hove Albion and Huddersfield Town all retained their Premier League status.

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All the three promoted teams this season – Norwich City, Sheffield United and Aston Villa, have had contrasting starts to the campaign so far. That being said, let’s take a look at who will finish where in the table.

1. Norwich City – 12th

Daniel Farke’s Norwich City took the Championship by storm and confirmed their promotion fairly early.

During the summer transfer window, the Canaries made some interesting signings in Sam Byram, Patrick Roberts, Josip Drmic and Ralf Fahrmann. Clearly, Farke relies on those players who served the club well last season.

Norwich’s opener against Liverpool turned out to be a heavy defeat for the visitors as they lost 4-1 at Anfield. It could have been worse than that but thanks to goalkeeper Tim Krul, as he made a couple of outstanding saves.

But Farke’s side have shown great character to come back from the disheartening opening day defeat at Anfield. They defeated Newcastle United 3-1 at Carrow Road in their first home game of the season, with last season’s star Teemu Pukki scoring a fabulous hat-trick.

If Farke can be flexible with his tactics and get Pukki firing every weekend, the Canaries can certainly enjoy a respectable mid-table finish.

2. Sheffield United – 16th

After conceding the joint-fewest goals and keeping the most number of clean sheets in the Championship last season, Sheffield United are the most impressive defensive unit among the promoted sides.

The Blades have returned to the top-flight for the first time since 2007 and the plans have been laid down in order to stay at the top for a long period of time.

Having snapped up experienced defender Phil Jagielka on a free transfer following his release from Everton, Chris Wilder focused on bolstering his attack in the transfer window, with the likes of Lys Mousset, Oliver McBurnie, Callum Robinson and Luke Freeman arriving at Bramall Lane.

And to everyone’s surprise, they have enjoyed a really promising start to the Premier League campaign, picking up four points from the first two games. Wilder’s men drew 1-1 with Bournemouth before beating Crystal Palace 1-0 at home at the weekend.

If Sheffield United can make the Bramall Lane a fortress, chances of them beating the drop would become higher.

3. Aston Villa – 17th

Aston Villa beat Derby County in the playoff finals at Wembley to become the third promoted side this season.

Upon their return to the top-flight since the rock-bottom finish in 2016, they were one of the biggest spenders in the summer window as Dean Smith signed as many as 13 players.

The Villans released a number of experienced stars including Alan Hutton, Micah Richards and Glenn Whelan in order to reduce the squad’s age and pump in some fresh, young talents.

Despite reinforcing the backline, Aston Villa have conceded five goals in the first two games. There is a lot to improve for Smith’s side, who are yet to open their account in the points table.

Villa’s massive summer spending is risky and reminds us of Fulham’s approach last season after their promotion. The plan backfired and the Cottagers now find themselves back in the Championship.

Certainly, it won’t be a similar case as far as Villa are concerned, with Smith being a smart tactician. He also has assistant coach John Terry to somehow help the club in difficult situations. It’ll be a close shave, nevertheless!

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