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World Cup 2014 : Golden Gloves — A look at the tournament's best goalkeepers so far

Eashwar Vishwanathan, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, July 03, 2014
First Published: 11:09 IST(3/7/2014) | Last Updated: 16:59 IST(4/7/2014)

Though World Cup 2014 may end up with the highest goal tally since the 64-match format was introduced in France 1998, some goalkeepers have shone in the tournament more than midfielders and strikers.

Here is a look at six shot-stoppers who have frustrated the opposition forward lines and stolen people's hearts.

Manuel Neuer (Germany)

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The Bayern Munich stopper has proved his versatility in Brazil with forays outside the box. Against the plucky Algerians, he played the role of a veritable libero. This made him an instant social media star and some wits even anointed him Beckeneuer. He nipped many an attack in the bud with timely interventions outside the box. His catching of high crosses is also impressive. (Reuters Photo)

Keylor Navas (Costa Rica)

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Costa Rica has made history by entering the quarter-finals of the World Cup for the first time, and a lot of credit for that goes to their keeper Keylor Navas. The Levante goalie was the hero in the penalty shootout against Greece. Nevas has made heads turn with stunning performances in La Liga and he has brought this form to the game's biggest stage. Do not be surprised if he has already caught the eye of big clubs. (AFP Photo)

Julio Cesar (Brazil)

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Blamed for Brazil's 2010 disaster, Julio Cesar's stellar performance against Chile secured a quarter-final berth for the hosts. 'Cesar saves Brazil' was the dominating headline across the globe after his performance. He is highly emotional too and wept before the shootout began and wept some more after it ended. The Toronto FC stopper, who may return to Queens Park Rangers, will now face the exciting Colombians. He is married to Ronaldo's ex-girlfriend, Susana Werner, a former soap opera star. (AFP Photo)

Vincent Enyeama (Nigeria)

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Though his team is out of the World Cup, keeper Vincent Enyeama has won hearts of football fans all over the world with his performances. One of the only two goalies to maintain a clean sheet till the last match of the group stage, the Lille stopper denied France for about 80 minutes before Paul Pogba's header and an unfortunate own goal ended Nigerian dreams. (Reuters Photo)

Tim Howard (USA)

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Another goalkeeper whose team couldn't make it to the quarters, Tim Howard's performance against Belgium will go down in World Cup folklore. His 16 heroic saves against Belgium toppled the previous record of 13. The Everton goalie's man of the match winning performance not only earned praise from his teammates and coach, but also from opponents and their coach. "Two words .. TIM HOWARD #respect," was the Twitter post of Belgium captain Vincent Kompany within minutes of the win over the US. (Reuters Photo)

Guillermo Ochoa (Mexico)

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And finally we have the Great Wall of Mexico. Ochoa's very first performance against Brazil, when he helped his team hold the hosts to a 0-0 draw, instantly made him a star. The former Ajaccio goalie, who is a free agent for now, has been arguably the best goalkeeper of the tournament. His save off a Neymar header made experts pull out references to the legendary Lev Yashin and Gordon Banks. (Reuters Photo)

(Eashwar Vishwanathan is a 17-year-old student and football player. He is interning with the hindustantimes.com World Cup team after earning his spot with a write-up)


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