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Euro 2016 will feature some of the best goalkeepers in the world.

Here are five who will have a major impact on their respective teams’ chances of securing the title as the champions of Europe.

Five goalkeepers to watch at Euro 2016

Manuel Neuer (Germany)

Neuer has won four Bundesliga titles with Bayern Munich as well as a Champions League and World Club Championship, but he will mostly be remembered for his sterling performances for Germany at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. Winner of the tournament’s Golden Glove award, Neuer played a significant role in the Germans’ victory, his ‘sweeper keeper’ playing style jut one part of his brilliance that distinguished him from his peers.

To many, Neuer’s unique playing style and speed when rushing off his line, quick reflexes, excellent shot-stopping abilities, command of his area and accurate control and distribution of the ball, make him one of the best and most complete goalkeepers of all time. His role will be crucial to the Germans’ success at Euro 2016.

Vital Stats
Age: 30
Height: 1.93cm (6’4”)
Club: Bayern Munich
Previous Clubs: Schalke 04
International Appearances: 64 (as at March 2016)
International Honours: World Cup Winner 2014

David de Gea (Spain)

He may only have eight international appearances to his name and he may not be guaranteed a starting spot at Euro 2016, but Spain’s David de Gea is regarded as one of the best goalkeepers in the world.

“David de Gea is high, has good feet, comes with authority and is agile. He has everything to be one of the greatest goalkeepers in the next 10 years,” Dutchman Edwin van der Sar said, the man who De Gea replaced at Manchester United in 2011.

De Gea’s confidence and unflappable nature make him the perfect keeper. Should he get the nod over legendary Iker Casillas, he has the perfect stage on which to step up and show the world his class and brilliance.

Vital Stats
Age: 25
Height: 1.92cm (6’4”)
Club: Manchester United
Previous Clubs: Atletico Madrid
International Appearances: 8 (as at March 2016)

Gianluigi Buffon (Italy)

Lauded as one of the greatest goalkeepers of all time, Buffon captains both Juventus and the Italian national team and will be a key player in the Azzurri’s challenge for Euro honours.

Boasting 157 international caps, the 38-year-old is the most capped player in the history of the Italian national team and despite the loss of some of his power, explosiveness, speed and mobility, he continues to excel at the highest level.

His consistency of performance, positioning, decision-making, and ability to read the game and organise his defence make him a vital component in the Italians’ Euro campaign.

After helping the Azzurri to World Cup glory a decade ago, Italian fans will be hoping the great man can again conjure his magic at a major international tournament.

Vital Stats
Age: 38
Height: 1.91cm (6’3”)
Club: Juventus
Previous Clubs: Parma
International Appearances: 157 (as at March 2016)
International Honours: World Cup Winner 2006

Petr Cech (Czech Republic)

Cech joined Chelsea in 2004 and made 486 official appearances for the club, winning four Premier League titles, a UEFA Champions League and a host of other gongs and awards in 11 remarkable seasons at Stamford Bridge. But after losing his starting spot to Belgian Thibaut Courtois, he switched to fierce rivals Arsenal in 2015, rejuvenating his career and proving to be a major coup for the Gunners.

Cech’s seamless integration into the Gunners’ lineup was one of the few positives in the club’s season, and with 16 clean sheets, he not only won the coveted Golden Glove award, but also created a record for the goalkeeper with the most clean sheets in Premier League history.

Alongside Karel Poborsky, he is the most capped player in the history of the Czech national team with 119 appearances, and represented his nation at the 2006 World Cup, as well as the 2004, 2008 and 2012 European Championships. Cech needs to be at his best for his country to succeed at Euro 2016.

Vital Stats
Age: 35
Height: 1.96cm (6’5”)
Club: Arsenal
Previous Clubs: Chmel Blšany, Sparta Prague, Rennes, Chelsea
International Appearances: 119 (as at March 2016)

Hugo Lloris (France)

Renowned for his anticipation and ability to read the game, Lloris’s intelligence and quiet confidence play a critical part in his makeup. His uncanny understanding of when to come off his line and to deal with the aerial ball, combined with his sound distribution skills, make the quiet and composed Frenchman the complete goalkeeper.

Now the skipper at Tottenham Hotspur, Lloris will lead France at Euro 2016 with the hosts mired in a blackmail scandal involving Real Madrid’s Karim Benzema, and a nation scarred by the horrors of the Paris terrorist attacks that left 130 people dead.

Aware of the responsibility that has been placed on his side to perform at Euro 2016, the 29-year-old is certain to rise to the occasion. France needs their captain to be at his best and after a sterling season at Tottenham, and national honour at stake, Lloris will, as always, lead by example.

Vital Stats
Age: 29
Height: 1.88cm (6’2”)
Club: Tottenham Hotspur
Previous Clubs: Nice, Lyon
International Appearances: 73 (as at March 2016)

Originally published at outside90.com

Post written by Derek Royal
for Outside 90, Blog: outside90.com, Twitter: @Outside90

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