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You shall not pass

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The start of the 2022 FIFA World Cup is just weeks away, and the tournament has reached a fever-gripping stage. As 32 teams fight it out to be crowned the world champions, there are individual awards to pick up too. This is also the first edition of the World Cup, which will be played in winter, so the club football season will go on a month-long break to accommodate the tournament. Other issues plaguing the World Cup are Qatar’s strict law on alcohol and betting. However, the latter can be done online outside the borders of Qatar with the help of sites such as

And like every World Cup, five individual awards will be up for grabs. These awards are The Golden Ball, The Golden Boot, The FIFA Young Player Award, The FIFA Fair Play Trophy and The Golden Glove.

While most awards are usually won by players who play in attack and are involved in goals or creating them, the Golden Glove award is strictly reserved for goalkeepers. Founded in 1994 and named after the legendary Lev Yashin, the award recognises the effort of shot-stoppers who produced. The award was renamed to its current version, i.e. FIFA Golden Glove award in the 2010 South Africa World Cup.

The FIFA Golden Glove award is a prestigious award as it recognises the talent of players who do the most thankless job in the world. At a stage as high as World Cup, one mistake by a goalkeeper can have disastrous consequences. It is not a coincidence that four of the seven countries that have won the World Cup since 1994 had the Golden Glove winner in their ranks. This shows us the importance of the award.

The first edition of the award was won by Belgium’s Michel Preud’homme, even though Belgium were knocked out in the first round. Germany and Belgium have been the most successful nations, with two Golden Glove award winners each. Meanwhile, Italy, France and Spain have one award each. 

The best performance ever by a goalkeeper, though, came in the 2002 FIFA World Cup. It was Germany’s Oliver Kahn whose brilliant performances got the team all the way to the final. His displays were so impressive that he also won the Golden Ball, awarded the best player in the tournament, along with the Golden Glove. It is the only time in World Cup history that a goalkeeper was named the best player in the tournament. 

Italy won their fourth title in the 2006 FIFA World Cup based on their impressive defence. Gianluigi Buffon won the Golden Glove award, and his compatriot centre-back Fabio Cannavaro was voted the second-best player in the World Cup and would go on to win the Ballon d’Or that year. 

FIFA World Cup Golden Glove Winners List

No. Year Venue Winner Country
1 1994 USA Michel Preud’homme Belgium
2 1998 France Fabian Barthez France
3 2002 S.Korea/Japan Oliver Kahn Germany 
4 2006 Germany  Gianluigi Buffon  Italy
5 2010 South Africa Iker Casillas Spain
6 2014 Brazil  Manuel Neuer Germany 
7 2018 Russia  Thibaut Courtois Belgium

The 2022 FIFA World Cup will have some top shot-stoppers fighting it to win the Golden Glove winner. Thibaut Courtois and Manuel Neuer, the last two winners of the award, are playing, and so are Liverpool’s Alisson, Spain’s David de Gea, France’s Hugo Lloris, and England’s Jordan Pickford. 

Saumy Deepak Tripathi
A Bayern Munich fan who is deeply in love with football statistics. Has a soft spot for goalkeepers! (well only he knows why). You’ll find him vibing on 70’s classic songs and spends an abnormal amount of time cooking.

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