“Football is a team sport until the goalkeeper makes a mistake and then it becomes an individual sport”. This quote from Alex Welsh perfectly defines the ingratitude of a profession that is as underrated as it is essential. It is absolutely illogical to blame them too much in defeats while in victories they are given a secondary role.
The evolution of goalkeepers during this century compared to the previous one is exponential. Their technical improvement, coupled with their everlasting physical exuberance, has turned them into just another outfield player.
Like life, their performance is no longer only measured by the moments when they breathe (saves) but by the moments when they take your breath away, when they boast a high level of effectiveness and pinpoint accuracy when linking up with their team-mates.
Despite being privileged to witness the matches in an exceptional location, I would like to highlight their temperament and concentration. Beyond being seen as an extension of the coach on the pitch, they must keep their guard up for the full ninety minutes so that if they are presented with at least one chance they can be providential.
They have a different disposition, accustomed to celebrating their joys alone, they also regret their disappointments by themselves. As Mono Burgos used to say: “look closely if we goalkeepers are different from the rest, we even wear different clothes”.
The experts in this sport argue that the engine room of a team is in charge of steering the rudder. Well, for me, goalkeepers are the ones who carry the compass.