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Jul 14, 2014

Who was the number one No. 1?

ESPN FC's Shaka Hislop talks about the indescribable presence of Germany's Manuel Neuer who has perfected the art of sweeper keeper. To Hislop, Neuer is the best goalkeeper on the planet.

It has been a World Cup of outstanding goalkeeping, but who were the best of the best? ESPN FC's Shaka Hislop picked his top five and explained his reasoning.

1. Manuel Neuer (Germany)

He didn't have many shots to save but was not found wanting either. Where Neuer separated himself, though, was in his preparedness to come off his line. It's risky but he wasn't caught wanting and, by doing it so often, he has almost redefined the role of goalkeeper.


Key stat: Neuer had 80 touches outside his penalty area, the most by a goalkeeper at a World Cup in the last 50 years.

2. Guillermo Ochoa (Mexico)

He was the best shot-stopper in the World Cup. He wasn't even Miguel Herrera's first choice before the tournament and yet proved unbeatable at times. His save from Neymar's header was as good as any we saw.


Key stat: Ochoa's six saves vs. Brazil were the most any Mexican goalkeeper has had in a World Cup game since 1966.

3. Tim Howard (United States)

That the United States not only made the round of 16 but ran Belgium so close was due in no small part to Howard. His positioning was perfect and was a major reason why he made as many saves as he did, with various parts of his anatomy.


Key stat: Howard set a record for most saves in a World Cup match with 15 in the round of 16 vs. Belgium.

4. Keylor Navas (Costa Rica)

He slipped behind Ochoa and Howard only because he didn't have to make as many spectacular saves as his CONCACAF counterparts. He was never flustered and did everything well, including the organization of an outstanding Costa Rica defence.


Key stat: Navas led the World Cup with a 91.3 save percentage (minimum two games).

5. Vincent Enyeama (Nigeria)

After he excelled in South Africa four years ago, Enyeama's reputation was well-known and he was once again a consistent force for Nigeria. He is susceptible aerially -- as France exploited -- but, in general, he was impressive. Plus, he always looked like he was enjoying himself!


Key stat: Enyeama's nine saves vs. Argentina tied the record he set in 2010 vs. Greece for most saves by a Nigerian in a World Cup game.

Do you agree? Vote for your number one No. 1!

Who was the best goalkeeper at the World Cup?