Several shot-stoppers have played critical roles for their teams in the Champions League this season and deserve to be named the best goalkeeper in the tournament.
The first leg of Champions League 2022/23 semifinal has just been completed with rather unexpected results for Real Madrid and AC Milan. The reigning champions were forced to share spoils while playing host to Manchester City. Vinicius Jr.’s goal first half goal was equalized by the stunning screamer from Kevin De Bruyne. Meanwhile, in the Milan Derby, the Rossonero stumbled and conceded twice early in the first half as Edin Dzeko and Henrikh Mikhitaryan found the back of the net.
The goals are essential to secure a win or even a notable draw, and so are the saves. Manchester City’s Ederson denied two vital chances from Karim Benzema and Aurelien Tchouameni to keep the score sheet at 1-1. Meanwhile, Mike Maignan of AC Milan had to do the same to avoid conceding any more goals. So, are they on the list of the top goalkeepers in the Champions League 2022/23?
Top Four Best Goalkeepers in UCL 2022/23
Anatoli Trubin – Shakhtar Donestk
According to the UEFA official website, neither Ederson nor Mike Maignan is on the top list when it comes to number of total saves and punches. However, Shakhtar Donetsk’s Anatolii Trubin is included despite the fact that the Ukrainian Champions failed to go through to the next stage.
The most notable display of the Ukraine international’s excellence between the sticks were on match day two against Celtic and double fixtures vs Real Madrid. The 21-year-old shot stopper was rated highly in those matches for his crucial saves and punches. Carlo Ancelotti’s men were not able to extend their lead after their second goals. Unfortunately, Shakhtar were unable to pick up a win in those games. They only managed to hold The Bhoys and Los Blancos in a 1-1 draw, but lost 2-1 in Bernabeu.
Simon Mignolet – Club Bruges
The former Liverpool shot-stopper is another surprising name on the top three list. He has been the key man in Club Brugges’ success to advance to the round of 16 with five clean sheets in eight games.
The 35-year-old’s most memorable performances were in the matches against Atletico Madrid and Bayer Leverkusen. He was out and about blocking, denying shots as well as clearing off the ball. Mignolet also made some heroic saves on the goal line to avoid conceding, including one from Antoine Griezmann’s shot at the Wanda Metropolitano.
Thibaut Courtois – Real Madrid
Another Belgian goalkeeper is on the list. Courtois’ inclusion is definitely expected as he is an experienced figure who has already been awarded with several individual accolades, including the FIFA Best Goalkeeper in 2018. The former Atletico Madrid and Chelsea shot stopper has kept five clean sheets in nine games, plus one penalty save.
Courtois’ consistency seems to be the key of his high-rated form. He denied at least three shots from Guardiola’s men during the first leg. Yet, he did not manage to keep out Kevin de Bruyne’s long range shot in the 67th minute.
Andre Onana – Inter Milan
Andre Onana is one of the few reasons why Inter could progress to the final in this season’s Champions League. The Cameroon international has kept seven clean sheets in 11 games.
The former Ajax goalkeeper was in top form while La Beniamata thumped Barcelona (during the group stage), FC Porto and Benfica in the knockout stage in both fixtures. In two games against Porto, for example, he made a number of clinical saves while Sergio Conceicao’s men were knocking on the door. There was one incredible moment in the Dragao stadium when the La Masia academy graduate saved the bombarded shots between the sticks when there was a rumble in the six-yard box. However, in the first semifinal outing, he was not tested much.
Onana appears to deserve being named The Best Goalkeeper in the UCL this season and lifting The Big Ear in Istanbul later on would make it perfect. It is a pity such talent was wasted by the Catalan side back in 2014. Fortunately, he had Ajax to help him develop into a top goalkeeper before joining Inter Milan in 2022.