Football is one of the most popular sports worldwide. Even though all eleven players are essential to the team, the goalkeeper is often at the centre of attention. He is often the captain of the team, acts as a guide and is responsible for the game tactic. We started looking for interesting facts about goalkeepers and discovered trivia you surely haven’t heard before!
1. Goalkeepers try to distract their enemies with colourful jerseys
Have you ever asked yourself why a goalkeeper’s kit always looks different from his teammates’? There is a surprising yet simple explanation for that! The often obnoxiously bright colours of their jerseys are supposed to draw the attention of the striker when they are about to score a goal. Chances are high that the player subconsciously aims at the goalkeeper instead of the unprotected corners of the goal. Peter Shilton, who played more games for the England men's team than anyone else, insisted on always wearing red!
2. Jorge Campos played for Mexico as both a goalkeeper and a striker
Another world-famous goalkeeper was Jorge Campos, who defended his team as a goalkeeper and on the field as an exceptional striker. He was famous for his bold-coloured jerseys, which he also designed himself. He also played for the national team alternately in both positions! A unique combination, which ultimately turned him into a living legend.
3. Goalkeepers spit on their gloves
Goalkeepers’ gloves are made of very sensitive latex, which grips best when wet. That’s also the reason why you can often see goalkeepers spit into their hands!
4. Peter Schmeichel used handball techniques as a goalkeeper
Peter Schmeichel, who became known as the goalkeeper for the Danish team, initially started his career as a handball player. After making the transition to football, he took the unique techniques he learned while playing handball with him. His technique was dominated by his intimidating appearance and was best known through his signature “Starfish” move, where he spread both his arms and legs. His son, Kasper Schmeichel, followed in his footsteps and became goalkeeper for the Danish national team. He uses the same techniques his dad took over from his career as a handball player!
5. Gianluigi Buffon’s transfer to Juventus Turin cost an incredible 38 million euros
Gianluigi Buffon is still the most expensive goalkeeper of all time following his move from Parma to Juventus in 2001 – for 38 million euros. Adjusted for inflation, the transfer would cost 53 million euros today. An unbelievable number that still hasn’t been beaten but is well-deserved: Buffon has been named World’s Best Goalkeeper four times and prevented 484 goals for his team.
6. Diego Alves holds more penalty shots in his league than anyone else
In the Spanish League 74% of all penalty shots are scored, except if you’re facing Diego Alves, who plays for FC Valencia. In his career, he has faced 46 penalties, saving 23 of them; two missed the target. He puts down his success as a goalkeeper to an understanding of the economic practice of “Game Theory”, a complex mathematical theory which is modelled after various behaviours in social conflict situations. This way, he gets into the striker’s head. Rather impressive!