Manuel Neuer has been named the best goalkeeper of 2014, according to a report published by the International Federation of Football History and Statistics.
FC Bayern stopper Neuer won the IFFHS award for the second year running, with his title in 2013 the first in five years to not be awarded to Real Madrid man Iker Casillas.
Voted for by over 60 experts in world football, Neuer won the award by over 100 points, with his successful season - a domestic double with Bayern, and the World Cup with Germany - showing off his technical brand of football harking back to the sweeper keeper style of Hungarian great Gyula Grosics. Commonly leaving his box and playing as a make-shift libero, the 28-year-old still only conceded four goals in 17 Bundesliga games, and proved his shot stopping ability with some great last-ditch saves in the World Cup.
Second to Neuer was Chelsea’s Thibaut Courtois, who won La Liga and reached the final of the Champions League with Atletico Madrid. At the age of just 22, he returned to Stamford Bridge from his three-year loan with the Spanish side and looks set to be the Blues number one for upwards of the next decade.
De Gea’s lack of international pedigree may have cost him valuable points, although his current league campaign has been nothing short of exceptional. Surprisingly he was beaten into the top 10 by Tottenham’s Hugo Lloris and Chelsea back-up Petr Cech - despite his lack of game time since Courtois’ return to Stamford Bridge.
Should De Gea’s impressive form continue into the next year, it is likely that he will make his way into the top 10 goalkeepers in world football, and there is a great chance he will be vying with Courtois for the title of best in the world.