With the year drawing to a close it is worth analysing who the standout goalkeepers in the Liga BBVA have been during 2013. Goal scorers usually grab the headlines, but the foundations of any championship contending side have to begin with the man between the sticks.
Atlético Madrid has enjoyed a dream year. Diego Costa, Koke and Raúl García have featured in the papers for all the right reasons this year, but the mattress makers’ solidity has started at the back thanks to a nearly two meter tall Belgian with a seemingly endless reach. Thibaut Courtois, who has been on loan to the Red and Whites from Chelsea FC for the past three years, won the Zamora Trophy last season after conceding just 0.78 goals per game on average, and also picked up the Liga BBVA goal keeper of the year award.
Things have gone in a similar vein for Víctor Valdés. Despite being injured for the final stretch of the year, the Barcelona keeper has been on sensational form in 2013. So far this season he has only conceded 0.62 goals per game and is becoming an increasingly important player for both club and country. Special praise must also go to Diego López, who after signing for Real Madrid during the January transfer window, has cemented a place in the starting XI thanks to some fine performances.
2013 was also a good year for Willy Caballero and Andrés Fernández. Málaga’s Argentine stopper enjoyed a sensational 2012/13 season and was one of the standout keepers in the UEFA Champions League. He hasn’t quite been able to find the same form during the current campaign, but has still put in some memorable displays, none so as spectacular as against Real Madrid in the Santiago Bernabéu. Meanwhile, the Osasuna keeper finished third in the race for last season’s Zamora Trophy and continues to be a rock for the Navarran side.
The final stretch of the year has seen the likes of Sergio Asenjo, Keylor Navas and Roberto Fernández put in some fine performances. Goalkeepers who haven’t been given a lot of playing time in previous campaigns, but have proved themselves solid during the second half of 2013. The Liga BBVA is sure to see plenty of points being earned by goalkeepers in 2014.