Several top goalkeepers have had to share tasks with their rivals in a club for the team’s success. Some goalkeeper duos have enjoyed great success, almost thriving on the competition amongst other factors.
The issue of having two top goalkeepers on the same team has recently received a lot of attention. Despite having the impressive Aaron Ramsdale in goal, Arsenal’s decision to sign David Raya on loan last summer was undoubtedly one of the most talked-about topics among fans. And with David Raya getting the nod vs Tottenham in the North London Derby after already figuring into Arteta’s two previous staring lineups, the conversation on social media was rampant.
Mikel Arteta, the Gunners’ manager, insists that it is solely for the sake of competition. Not to mention that they will have to divide their focus this season between the Champions League and the domestic competitions. It appears logical to have two top shot-stoppers, as each game matters more than ever this season.
The goalies in modern football are no longer like the thing in the past, especially in the elite sides. They are expected to be all rounder, comfortable with the ball and can be replaceable just like the outfield players for the sake of the team’s tactics. They are no longer guaranteed to play in every game of the season.
However, having two top goalkeepers in one team certainly creates a challenge of its own. Each would not take it easily, should they not get a nod to play regularly. Unfortunately, not all managers have the ability to keep them both in contention as well as have positive campaigns. Some opt for picking the shot-stopper based on the condition on a game-to-game basis while others simply have them share the tasks. Although the latter seems fairer, it still does not guarantee that both would stay and be happy doing the same in the following season. Having one top goalie with a reliable secondary one as understudy is still the ideal one, like Manchester City does with Ederson and Stefan Ortega.
Here are some shot stoppers who still managed to thrive while sharing tasks and most importantly, also deliver success for their clubs.
5 Successful Goalkeeper Duos
Iker Casillas and Diego Lopez (Real Madrid 2013/14)
Real Madrid legend was no longer given a spot automatically in the lineup for La Liga that season. Carlo Ancelotti preferred the towering Diego Lopez for those matches while Casillas was only deployed for Champions League and Copa del Rey. Such policy paid off well as the skipper helped them lift the trophy in those two tournaments whereas Lopez was happy enough being a starter for Los Blancos in and out on weekends.
In the following season, the former Espanyol shot stopper was sold to AC Milan whereas Casillas could not replicate his top form after regaining his main spot between the sticks. Ancelotti’s men were trophyless in 2014/15 and the world cup winner was eventually offloaded to Porto afterwards.
Marc Ter-Stegen and Claudio Bravo (Barcelona 2014/15)
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Barcelona seems to copy their archrival’s formula by signing two top names, Chilean international, Claudio Bravo and the talented Marc Ter Stegen. Bravo was tipped to be the number 1 as Victor Valdes’s ideal replacement but he did not feature in the Champions League. Blaugrana’s boss at that time, Luis Enrique opted to play the inexperienced Ter Stegen instead for UCL and Copa Del Rey. Such brought incredible results as the Catalan giant enjoyed treble winners.
In the following season, both still did the same role. Unfortunately. Ter Stegen did not manage to bring Barcelona to defend their continental title. On the other hand, Bravo succeeded in helping them retain the title plus snatch Club World Cup title. While the German then wanted regular minutes in the league in the 2016/17 season, the former Sociedad man left Catalan for Manchester City.
David De Gea and Sergio Romero (Manchester United 2016/17)
The Spaniard was Manchester United’s number one in the Premier League and Carling Cup. Yet, he was not the first choice in the Europa League and FA Cup. United boss at that time, Jose Mourinho deployed Argentina national team mainstay, Sergio Romero in those competitions.
Both De Gea and Romero eventually contributed well in that season. The former delivered two silverwares, Carling Cup and Community Shield while the latter helped the Red Devils win their first ever Europa League title. It was the last season they lifted the continental trophy.
Kepa Arrizabalaga and Edouard Mendy (Chelsea 2020/21)
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Thomas Tuchel had to face the tough task to choose who should be his number one while taking charge of The Blues. The German boss eventually chose Senegal’s Edouard Mendy for Champions League and domestic league while the Spaniard played in FA Cup and plus some games in the Premier League as part of the squad rotation. Tuchel’s decision paid off as they won their second Champions League title and reached the FA Cup final after beating Guardiola’s Manchester City. Sadly, they lost to Leicester in the summit.
In 2021/22, both shot stoppers were still content sharing tasks. Kepa was the key figure when they reached the Carling Cup final plus won UEFA Super Cup, while Mendy contributed well in helping them win the Club World Cup beside being the mainstay in the domestic and European top tier competitions.
Yassine Bounou and Marko Dmitrovic (Sevilla 2022/23)
Last season, Sevilla’s unlikely success to avoid relegation and clinching their seventh Europa League title was inspired by both of their goalie’s in-form. Before the arrival of Jose Mendilibar. Morocco’s Bounou was the number one in La Liga while Serbia’s Dmitrovic featured in the Europa League. Then, in the second half of the season, they switched tasks and thrived. The Moroccan world cup hero once again showed his true class in UEFA’s second tier tournament, just like in 2020 editions, whereas the former Eibar goalkeeper put on a great display as he helped Sevilla unbeaten in 11 of their 13 games, plus kept clean sheets in five fixtures. It was enough for them to finish in the mid table instead of being stuck in the red zone.