Michael Owen: Manuel Neuer is best in his position

Manuel Neuer 2 Germany

Former Liverpool, Newcastle United and Manchester United striker believes Bayern Munich and Germany goalkeeper is the best in the world.

It is perhaps testament to Manuel Neuer's competitive spirit that when Germany conceded their one goal in the 7-1 battering of host nation Brazil in the World Cup semifinal on Tuesday evening, the Bayern Munich shot-stopper went apoplectic.

Forget that Germany were already seven goals in front. Forget the fact that the behemoths of European football had played their part in what will no doubt become one of the most replayable matches in World Cup history… Neuer was infuriated that his clean sheet had been stained because of a 90th minute effort from Chelsea midfielder Oscar.

What Neuer did exceptionally well last night was command his area - a trait that has long been a staple of the 28-year-old's playing style.

But how does he compare to other goalkeepers who have enjoyed punditry commendation for their performances over the past month?

  NationSavesDistribution AccuracyHigh ClaimsPenalty SavesClean SheetsAppsMins
Tim Howard USA 27 61.82% 8 0 0 4 390
Manuel Neuer Germany 23 76.47% 7 0 3 6 570
Vincent Enyeama Nigeria 22 56.10% 6 0 2 4 360
Keylor Navas Costa Rica 21 44.64% 7 0 3 5 510
Claudio Bravo Chile 16 67.35% 7 0 1 4 390
Guillermo Ochoa Mexico 10 64.71% 7 0 2 4 360

When it comes to save prolificacy, there is no better than Tim Howard, America's veteran glovesman who was responsible for making a save once every 14 minutes whilst on World Cup duty with the USA. His distribution was also fair, as 61% of his goal-kicks found it's intended target.

Howard's 15 saves returned against Belgium will no doubt become one of the more retold stories of the competition and his heroism has not been lost on the internet as social media users began wondering whether Howard could save their marriage, while he also became the subject of many memes.

Keylor Navas kept three clean sheets for Costa Rica, while Guillermo Ochoa also won the hearts of Mexicans for his displays between the sticks.

When it comes to the world's best, though, there is one who is head and shoulders above the rest according to Michael Owen - and that is Manuel Neuer.

He said: "The fella is a beast. [He is the] best 'keeper in the world by a mile."

Neuer is certainly showing that in Brazil, during a tournament that has been synonymous with good shot-stopping.

Germany still have one more game to contest, on Sunday in the World Cup final, against this evening's winner between Argentina and Netherlands. However, he has already made 23 saves, eight high claims and kept three clean sheets from six outings. He also has an extraordinarily high distribution accuracy.

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