These custodians took their respective teams to newer heights in the continental competition.
Over the past decade, football has been graced with some phenomenal goalkeepers. Arguably the most integral part of any team, goalkeepers do not get enough credit for their spectacular performance. Their contribution to the team in keeping clean-sheets and winning matches is often overshadowed by players in front of them.
From shot-stoppers to sweeper keepers, goalkeepers also have to keep evolving with the game. Like goals and assists, clean-sheets are goalkeepers’ priority. They are judged based on the number of clean-sheets they keep.
The UEFA Champions League is the most prestigious trophy in club football. Every player and manager dream about lifting the trophy once in their lifetime. Here are the top 10 goalkeepers with the most clean-sheets in the Champions League.
10. Marc-Andre ter Stegen (FC Barcelona) – 30
The 29-year-old has only represented FC Barcelona in the UEFA Champions League and kept 30 clean-sheets so far. He lifted the UCL in the 2014-15 season. Ter Stegen kept six clean-sheets in 13 matches that season, the joint-most he has kept in single Champions League season.
In the same season, his goal-line save to deny Bayern Munich in the semi-finals won the UCL save of the season. Ter Stegen has also made it to the UCL Team of the Tournament twice (2014-15 & 2018-19) in his career. In the ongoing 2021-22 campaign, he has already kept three clean-sheets in five games.
9. Jan Oblak (Atletico Madrid) – 30
Jan Oblak is arguably one of the best goalkeepers in the world at present. The Slovenian keeper is certainly one for the big occasions. The Atletico Madrid keeper reached the final of the Champions League in the 2015/16 season where they lost to arch-rivals Real Madrid.
In his 64 appearances in the Champions League for Atletico Madrid, Oblak has kept 30 clean-sheets, one of which came this season against Porto.
8. Oliver Kahn (Bayern Munich) – 33
Oliver Kahn is one of the most famous names in world football. The German legend has been an inspiration to many around the world. Khan is also a Bayern legend, having dedicated most of his playing career to Bayern Munich.
He was an integral part of Bayern’s 2000/01 Champions League glory. Kahn kept a total of 33 clean sheets in his 103 UCL appearances for the German giants. He received the Player of the Match award in Bayern’s Champions League final win over Valencia for making three crucial penalty saves in the shootout, as the game remained tied in regulation time. He has also won the UEFA Best Goalkeeper award on four occasions.
7. Dida (AC Milan) – 35
One of the greatest goalkeepers of all-time, Dida had kept 35 clean-sheets in the UCL during his illustrious career. He won the Champions League twice with AC Milan ((2002-03 & 2006-07). In both finals, he saved crucial penalties to guide his side to the title.
His penalty-saving skills remains second to none. Dida was monumental in between the sticks. The Brazilian also won the FIFA World Cup with his nation in 2002. He played only 72 matches in the UCL and conceded just 56 times. Dida is also the first goalkeeper to assist a goal in the Champions League.
6. Victor Valdes (Barcelona) – 45
A former Barcelona No. 1, Victor Valdes was not only good with his hands but with his feet as well. The Spanish goalkeeper was one of the most intelligent keepers and was among the first of modern-day sweeper keepers.
Valdes had a decorated career at Barcelona and won three Champions League trophies with the Blaugrana. The Spaniard kept a total of 45 clean sheets in his 106 Champions League matches.
5. Petr Cech (Chelsea) – 49
The Chelsea legend was one of the best goalkeepers of his generation and was a magnificent shot-stopper. Cech has numerous goalkeeping records to his name, including the only goalkeeper to win the Premier League Golden Glove award with two different clubs (Chelsea & Arsenal).
Cech won the champions league title with Chelsea in 2012. In the final, he saved a penalty by Arjen Robben and two more penalties in the shootout to guide Chelsea to the title. He kept a total of 49 clean sheets in 103 appearances in the UCL.
4. Manuel Neuer (Bayern Munich) – 51
Having started at Schalke, Manuel Neuer impressed everyone with his performances at the UEFA Champions League. He took the Bundesliga side to the UCL semis for the first time in the club’s history with spectacular saves before making the move to Bayern Munich, where he has transformed into the world’s best goalkeeper.
The German has won two Champions League titles (2012-13 & 2019-20) with the Bavarians. Neuer has kept 51 clean-sheets so far and has already made over 100 appearances in the Champions League.
3. Edwin van der Sar (Manchester United) – 51
One of the few players to win the UEFA Champions League with multiple teams, Edwin van Der Ser is third in this list of goalkeepers with most clean-sheets in the UCL. The Dutch custodian won the trophy with Ajax (1994-95) and Manchester United (2007-08).
Van der Sar kept 51 clean sheets in 98 Champions League matches. The Dutchman made things look easy and was tidy between the sticks. In his days, Van der Sar was a cut above the rest.
2. Gianluigi Buffon (Juventus) – 52
For a player, who has enjoyed a storied and decorated career, it is quite a shame that Gianluigi Buffon has never won the UEFA Champions League title. However, he has dominated the competition and is the goalkeeper with the second most clean-sheets in its history, with 52 clean-sheets in 124 matches.
He holds a quite unfortunate record of joint-most UCL final appearances (3) without a win. Buffon also holds the record of third-longest run in the Champions League without conceding a goal (690 minutes).
1. Iker Casillas (Real Madrid) – 57
Iker Casillas enjoyed a decorated career and won almost everything there was to win in club and international football. He lifted three UEFA Champions League titles (1999-2000, 2001-02 & 2013-14) with Real Madrid. Casillas also holds the record for most clean-sheets in the UCL with 57 to his name. He also holds the record of second-most appearances in the competition with 177 matches.
Casillas was only 19 years old when he first won the UEFA Champions League with Los Blancos, making him the youngest-ever goalkeeper to play in a UCL final and win it.