The biggest wages in football are often reserved for strikers, or at least attacking players. The unsung heroes of so many great teams, however, are goalkeepers – arguably the most important position on the pitch – so they surely deserve to be well rewarded for their talents.
Here are the 7 best paid goalkeepers in world football:
7. Iker Casillas – £111,000 a Week
It’s an incredibly tight affair between the seventh and tenth best paid goalkeepers in world football, but just squeaking in ahead of the likes of Marc-Andre ter Stegen and Petr Cech, is Porto stopper Iker Casillas. The best paid player at the club, Casillas joined Porto in 2015, after 16 years in the Real Madrid first team. One of the greatest goalkeepers of all time, Casillas had incredible reflexes in his prime. Capped 167 times by Spain, he is only the third man in history to captain a team to glory in the Champions League, European Championships and the World Cup. Now aged 36, Casillas’ current deal runs out at the end of this season.
6. Claudio Bravo – £115,000 a Week
The sixth best paid goalkeeper in the world is Manchester City’s 34-year-old number two Claudio Bravo. He was signed by Pep Guardiola from former club Barcelona due in no small part to his ability with a ball at his feet. In his first season in the Premier League, however, it appeared Bravo couldn’t use his hands. The Chilean international, with 119 caps to his name, is obviously a decent goalkeeper, but he did a good job of hiding it last season. His poor form prompted Manchester City to replace him, bringing in Brazilian shot stopper Ederson over the summer. Unlike Bravo, Ederson has proved to be capable with both his hands and his feet.
5. Joe Hart – £116,000 a Week
You’ve got to laugh at the fact that two of the six best paid goalkeepers in the world are contracted to Manchester City – and neither of them are first choice. Fifth in this seven is Joe Hart, who Pep Guardiola wasted no time getting rid of at the Etihad. A record four-time Premier League Golden Glove winner, it appeared that Hart’s status as England and Man City number one was undoubted a few years ago. Now aged 30 though, prime age for a goalkeeper, Hart’s reputation has taken a few knocks. Axed at the Etihad, Hart was not on top form for Torino last season and was dropped for Adrian by David Moyes at West Ham earlier this season (although he subsequently won his place back). Capped 75 times by England, Hart still has another year left on his deal at Manchester City.
4. Gianluigi Buffon – £143,000 a Week
By far and away the best paid 40-year-old in world football, this season will probably be Gianluigi Buffon’s last as a professional footballer. The third greatest goalkeeper of all time in our books, Buffon has shown remarkable consistency over almost a quarter of a century since breaking through at Parma. The most capped European footballer in history, Buffon won the World Cup with Italy in 2006, as well as more than 15 trophies with Juventus. Now at the grand old age of 40, Buffon’s anticipation has allowed him to stay close to the top, and he is still one of best goalkeepers in the game.
3. Gianluigi Donnarumma – £180,000 a Week
If anyone has a shot at breaking the many, many records set by Gianluigi Buffon, then it is Gianluigi Donnarumma. Incredibly, the towering shot stopper only turned 19 recently, yet he has already made more than 100 appearances for AC Milan, and has taken over as Italy’s first choice goalkeeper. It’s very rare for a goalkeeper to break into a top team so young, but Donnarumma just seems to be taking everything in his stride. It looked as though he might leave AC Milan last year, but ultimately he agreed a £180,000 a week deal until 2021 at the San Siro.
2. David de Gea – £200,000 a Week
In second place in this seven, we recently took some stick – mostly from Bayern Munich fans – for describing David de Gea as the best goalkeeper in the world. We’re huge fans of the Spanish number one, who initially struggled to adapt to life in the Premier League in his first season at Manchester United, but he has now won their Player of the Year award three times. De Gea has near-perfect reflexes, and is better at saving shots with his feet than any other player we’ve ever seen. He signed his current £200,000 a week deal back in 2015, and when Manchester United come to offering him a new deal, he could probably ask them to double it – such is his importance to the club.
1. Manuel Neuer – £257,000 a Week
The best paid goalkeeper in world football is Bayern Munich shot stopper Manuel Neuer. A titan between the sticks, Neuer has supreme confidence in his ability both as a goalkeeper and as a footballer. He is arguably the only player of his generation to have had a real influence on changing the perception and style of a position. A World Cup winner in 2014, Neuer has been with Bayern Munich since 2011, where he has won five Bundesliga titles and a Champions League. He has made FIFA’s World XI five times, and came third in Ballon d’Or voting in 2014. Now aged 32, Neuer signed his current deal in 2016, and it is set to run until 2021.