The goalkeeper position is regarded as the most valuable role on the soccer pitch. To be a great keeper, one needs to have exemplary skills between the pipes, together with a strong defense out front. Stopping the opposing offense from penetrating the goal, diving around a restricted box and using your hands to catch, throw and save the ball all takes superb reflexes, great anticipation and lots of practice to perfect.
Goalkeepers are the backbone of any soccer team as they play an important role in directing the strategy of every player on the field. Legendary goalkeepers like Gordon Banks, Peter Schmeichel, Lev Yashin and Dino Zoff are just a few who have added glory and fame to the beautiful game of football with their displays of class and poise.
Even today, the world has a number of the finest goalkeepers playing for several top level clubs in Premier league, La Liga, Serie A, Bundesliga and Ligue 1 showing great performances both at club and country-level soccer games. With their amazing skills and abilities to prevent opponents from scoring, they have gained fame proportional to their huge salaries. So, let us take a look at the top 10 highest-paid goalkeepers in football today.
10 Salvatore Sirigu – £2.60 Million Per Year
A third-choice goalkeeper for the national team of Italy behind Gigi Buffon and Morgan Desanctis, Salvatore Sirigu plays for the Paris Saint Germain side in club football. Sirigu started out his career at Palermo in 2006 and moved out on loan to Cremonese and Ancona before joining the Ligue 1 side PSG in 2011 for a transfer fee of €3.5 million. Having Played for Italy's U-18, U-19 and U-21 team, Sirigu made it to Italy's national team in 2010 and earns £2.60 million per year with his club PSG where his contract remains until 2014.
9 Hugo Lloris - £3.00 Million Per Year
French goalkeeper, Hugo Lloris plays for Premier League side Tottenham Hotspur. The captain of the French national team, Lloris is one of the finest goalkeepers in soccer with great reflexes and decision-making capabilities. Also regarded as the best goalkeeper for handling one-on-one situations, Lloris started out his career in 2004 from Nice B and moved on to Lyon in 2008 where he stayed for four years before joining Tottenham Hotspur side in 2012 for a fee of around £8.30 million. Having played for the French U-18, U-19, U-20 and U-21 teams, he became a national player in 2008 and earns £3.00 million per year with the Premier League side.
8 David De Gea - £3.64 Million Per Year
David De Gea is a Spanish footballer playing for the Manchester United side. After starting out his career in Atletico Madrid, De Gea made it to the club's senior level in 2009 becoming the first-choice goalkeeper. With his impressive performance in UEFA Europa League and UEFA Super Cup, De Gea was lured by the Premier League side Manchester United for a transfer fee of £17.8 million in 2011. This 23-year-old goalkeeper played for the Spain U-15, U-17, U-19, U-20, U-21 and U-23 teams and has yet to be featured on the national team. His transfer is regarded as the highest fee for a goalkeeper in England. David De Gea has a yearly salary of £3.64 million with his Premier League side Manchester United.
7 Pepe Reina - £4.20 Million Per Year
Spanish footballer Jose Manuel Pepe Reina currently plays for Napoli after moving from Liverpool on a loan. He also plays for Spain's national team. Having started his career at Barcelona in the 2000-01 season, Reina moved on to Villarreal in 2002 and won the UEFA Intertoto Cup twice with the team. He moved on to the Premier League side Liverpool in 2005 and made his debut in the UEFA Super Cup which his side won. Regarded as the second-choice goalkeeper behind Iker Casillas, Reina played for the Spain U-16, U-17, U-18 and U-21 sides before joining the national team in 2005. Reina is reported to have a yearly salary of £4.20 million with Napoli.
6 Joe Hart - £4.68 Million Per Year
5 Victor Valdes - £5.00 Million Per Year
Victor Valdes is a Spanish goalkeeper playing for the FC Barcelona side in La Liga. Regarded as the most successful Barcelona goalkeeper, Valdes has a total of 19 titles with his side. After starting out his career in Barcelona's C and B teams, he made it to the senior squad in the 2002-03 season and has been playing for the La Liga giants since then. Valdes has also played for the Spain U-18, U-19, U-20 and U-21 teams before taking his place in national team in 2010. Valdes earns a whopping total of £5.00 million a year.
4 Petr Cech - £5.20 Million Per Year
Czech goalkeeper Petr Cech plays for the Premier League side Chelsea and the national team of the Czech Republic. Having played for Chmel Bisany, Sparta Prague and Rennes, Cech was transferred to the Premier League side for £7 million in 2004. Cech is also regarded as one of the most respected goalkeepers in the world with a number of records to his name. Cech played for the junior national U-15 to U-21 teams and made his way to the national team in 2002. This first-choice goalkeeper for the Blues side has a yearly salary of £5.20 million.
3 Gianluigi Buffon - £5.50 Million Per Year
Arguably the greatest footballer in Italy, Gianluigi Buffon is the oldest player on his country's national team. Renowned for his great on-field capabilities for guiding his club, he is also the captain of both the national team of Italy and a Serie A club Juventus. Buffon has won the highest number of Goalkeeper of the Year Awards with a total of 9. He is also the only goalkeeper to have won the UEFA Club Footballer of the Year Award. Buffon joined the Juventus side from Parma in 2001 and has been playing there ever since. He has a yearly salary of £5.50 million.
2 Manuel Neuer - £5.60 Million Per Year
Manuel Peter Neuer is a German footballer who plays as goalkeeper for the national team of Germany and Bundesliga side Bayern Munich. Known for his great shot stopping abilities and ball distribution on the field, Neuer started out his career in 2004 joining the Schalke side where he stayed until 2011 when he joined Bayern Munich, becoming their first-choice goalkeeper. Neuer became a national player for Germany in 2009 after playing for the U-18, U-19, U-20 and U-21 sides. Having won the Bundesliga, UEFA Champions League and Super Cup with the Bayern Munich side, Manuel Neuer has a yearly salary of £5.60 million.
1 Iker Casillas - £6.30 Million Per Year
One of the finest goalkeepers of all time, Iker Casillas is a Spanish footballer who plays and captains the national team of Spain and the La Liga club Real Madrid. He led the Spanish national team to win their first major European Championship in 44 years in 2008 and also took charge of the country's World Cup win in 2010. He started his career at Real Madrid through the youth academy in 1998, playing for the Real Madrid C and B teams and moving on to the senior team in 1999. Casillas is also the most capped player for the national team of Spain. This highest-paid goalkeeper in the world has a yearly salary of £6.30 million.