The FIFA World Cup Golden Glove is a trophy awarded to the best goalkeeper of the tournament. 

The winner is recognised by the FIFA Technical Study Group which examines the goalkeepers’ performance throughout the World Cup. In case of a tie between players, the goalkeeper who progressed furthest in the competition is given the award, followed by the number of saves and minutes played.

The organising committee has been giving this particular award since the inception of the competition. However, it was officially recognized only in 1994 as the Lev Yashin Award, named after the legendary goalkeeper hailing from the Soviet Union. 

FIFA World Cup 1994 Golden Glove winner: Michel Preud’homme

Former Belgian goalkeeper Michel Preud'homme was the first official winner at the FIFA World Cup 1994. 

Even though Belgium were knocked out by Germany in the round of 16, Preud'homme ended up winning the Golden Glove award for his stellar performance, keeping two clean sheets in three group phase matches. He was also a part of that edition’s all-star team, which comprises the 11 best players from the tournament.

FIFA World Cup 1998 Golden Glove winner: Fabien Barthez

In the 1998 edition, Fabien Barthez became the first French footballer to etch his name on the list of FIFA World Cup Golden Glove winners list.

The host nation France went on to win its maiden FIFA World Cup title in 1998. Barthez kept five clean sheets in seven matches, conceding just two goals. The Didier Deschamps-led side defeated the mighty Brazilians 3-0 in the final to bag their first-ever World Cup. 

FIFA World Cup 2002 Golden Glove winner: Oliver Kahn

The 2002 edition saw German legend Oliver Kahn get the Golden Glove award.

Germany finished as runners-up as Brazil got one better this time out to clinch the trophy. Keeper Oliver Kahn bagged the honour for his spectacular show as he conceded just three goals in seven matches, maintaining five shutouts.

Furthermore, Oliver Kahn won the Golden Ball award too in the 2002 World Cup. To date, he is the only player to bag both awards in a single edition of the quadrennial event.

FIFA World Cup 2006 Golden Glove winner: Gianluigi Buffon

Italian goalie Gianluigi Buffon grabbed the Golden Glove award along with the World Cup in 2006. Buffon, counted amongst the best goalkeepers of all time, kept five clean sheets in seven games.

Italy defeated France 5-3 on penalties in the final after regulation time ended in a 1-1 scoreline.

FIFA World Cup 2010 Golden Glove winner: Iker Casillas

Spanish goalkeeper Iker Casillas won the accolade in the following edition in 2010, after it was renamed ‘Golden Glove Award’ from the ‘Lev Yashin Award’.

Casillas went on to keep six clean sheets en route to Spain’s maiden world title, conceding just two goals. 

Interestingly, Spain set a new record for the fewest goals scored by a World Cup-winning side with a mere eight in seven matches, a record previously held by Brazil and England (11 in 1994 and 1966 editions, respectively) 

FIFA World Cup 2014 Golden Glove winner: Manuel Neuer

Germany’s Manuel Neuer played an integral role in Germany’s triumph at the 2014 FIFA World Cup, conceding just four goals throughout the tournament.

The final against Argentina, however, was a relaxed affair for Neuer, who had to make just one save and kept a clean sheet comfortably.

FIFA World Cup 2018 Golden Glove winner: Thibaut Curtois

Belgium’s Thibaut Courtois won the laurel in 2014 after his team reached the semi-final, which is their best-ever finish at the FIFA World Cup. He made 27 saves in the tournament.

Curtois became the second Belgian to win the Golden Glove Award after Michel Preud’homme claimed it in 1994.

Both Neuer and Courtois have been selected for their respective national teams for the FIFA World Cup 2022. They have the opportunity to win the Golden Glove for the second time, something that no goalie has ever achieved in the history of the tournament.

FIFA World Cup Golden Glove winners list

Goalkeeper Team Year
Enrique Ballestrero Uruguay 1930
Ricardo Zamora Spain 1934
Frantisek Planicka Czech Republic 1948
Roque Maspoli Uruguay 1950
Gyula Grosics Hungary 1954
Harry Gregg Northern Ireland 1958
Viliam Schrojf Czech Republic 1962
Gordon Banks England 1966
Ladislao Mazurkiewicz Uruguay 1970
Sepp Maier Germany 1974
Ubaldo Fillol Argentina 1978
Dino Zoff Italy 1982
Jean-Marie Pfaff Belgium 1986
Gabelo Conejo / Sergio Goycochea Costa Rica / Argentina 1990
Michel Preud'homme Belgium 1994
Fabien Barthez France 1998
Oliver Kahn Germany 2002
Gianluigi Buffon Italy 2006
Iker Casillas Spain 2010
Manuel Neuer Germany 2014
Thibaut Courtois Belgium 2018
Emiliano Martinez Argentina 2022


Featured image: AFP