• Evaluating goalkeepers isn’t always easy, but these 10 set themselves apart 

  • From World Cup winners to cult heroes, we’ve picked the best goalkeepers in La Liga history

  • Read below for our comprehensive list of the best La Liga keepers

Goalkeepers aren’t the first players to come to mind when weighing up football odds today.

No individual player has as big a bearing on the outcome of a match, however, and the best goalkeepers in La Liga history were able to influence matches far more than most.

It wasn’t easy narrowing this down to just 10, but here are our selections for the greatest La Liga goalkeepers of all-time.

10) Keylor Navas

Maybe 151 La Liga appearances isn’t enough for Keylor Navas to qualify here. We’re going with quality over quantity in this pick – Navas was truly elite during his La Liga stint with Levante and Real Madrid.

A three-time Champions League winner and champion of Spain during his time with Real, Navas was also named Best Goalkeeper for his 2013-14 exploits and earned a Team of the Year nod from ESM in 2015-16.

9) Ricardo Zamora

It seems fair to work on the rule that if you get a goalkeeping award named after you, you probably deserve a place among the best goalkeepers in La Liga history.

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The Ricardo Zamora trophy goes to the La Liga ‘keeper with the best goals-to-game ratio in a given season, named after the incomparable shot stopper who held the record as Spain’s most capped player for almost half a century.

Zamora is best known for his exploits on the international stage. Yet, his domestic career was every bit as impressive, playing for Espanyol, Barcelona and Real Madrid.

Named to the 1934 World Cup Team of the Tournament and judged to be the fifth-best goalkeeper of the 20th century by IFFHS, Zamora was a lock for this list.

8) Thibaut Courtois

The subject of one of the biggest La Liga transfers, Thibaut Courtois is one of just 13 players this century to play for both Atletico and Real Madrid.

An immensely calming and commanding presence in between the sticks, the Belgian is already a three-time Zamora trophy winner and has a couple of La Liga titles to his name.

It might be premature to put Courtois among the top 10, but if we’re judging purely on peak performance, he deserves a spot. With years left in his pomp, he could well be among the top two or three by the time he calls it a day.

7) Victor Valdes

Perhaps Victor Valdes doesn’t make it into our top 10 if he’s on a team with less La Liga betting tips success.

Valdes made mistakes, and he wasn’t an imposing figure, but it’s important to view his role through the prism of the Barcelona side he played in.

Pep Guardiola needed a goalkeeper to play as a sweeper. He needed a goalkeeper who could be an 11th outfielder. The occasional errors were worth what Valdes meant to their system, the system that saw Barcelona dominate domestic and European football.

6) Antoni Ramallets

No one has more Zamora trophies than Antoni Ramallets (as of January 2022).

He won six La Ligas with Barcelona, and despite earning only 35 caps for Spain, he’s an iconic figure in the club’s history thanks to his performances at the 1950 World Cup.

The demands on goalkeepers have evolved since Ramallets’ peak years in the late-1940s and 1950s, but we can only compare to his peers, and the Barcelona-born stopper was clearly the best of his era.

5) Francisco Buyo

Third all-time in La Liga appearances when he retired, Francisco Buyo clocked over 100 outings for Deportivo before lengthy spells with Sevilla and Real Madrid.

Twice a Zamora trophy winner, Buyo won six league titles and a couple of Copa del Reys with Los Blancos across his 343 appearances for the club.

He might have only notched seven full Spain caps, but that’s down to circumstance rather than talent. Buyo is unquestionably one of the best goalkeepers in La Liga history.

4) Andoni Zubizarreta

The La Liga record holder in appearances and clean sheets, there’s no doubt over whether Andoni Zubizarreta belongs in the top 10. 

Just as generations can argue between Diego Maradona and Lionel Messi, Zubizarreta is the representative of his era against the modern greats like Oblak and Casillas.

While longevity isn’t the sexiest of football characteristics, Zubizarreta was a remarkable athlete. He dodged injuries, and never made fewer than 33 league appearances in a season across his 17-year career.

He might have only won one Zamora Trophy, but Zubizarreta collected every other piece of hardware on offer in the club game.

A six-time La Liga winner and champion of Europe, he was one of the best goalkeepers of his generation, and an all-time great for the national team with over 120 caps.

3) Jan Oblak

Jan Oblak’s tally of five Zamora trophies is partly down to the granite-strong defence Diego Simeone has crafted at Atletico. During that period, though, Oblak has clearly been among the best in the world at his position.

Atletico’s tactics impact La Liga predictions, but Oblak is incredibly influential in his own right. He is a leader of their back line, and like so many others featured here, he has the raw talent to pull off game-altering saves.

2) Santiago Canizares

‘Iconic’ isn’t usually a word that comes to mind with goalkeepers. Santiago Cañizares bucks that trend.

The flamboyant saves and bright blonde hair are just part of Cañizares’ La Liga legacy, though. He checks the box of cult hero, but did so while playing at an elite level during a glorious period in Valencia’s history.

A four-time Zamora trophy winner, Cañizares’ career would be thought of very differently if he wasn’t stuck behind some all-time greats in the pecking order for Spain.

1) Iker Casillas

Five-time La Liga winner and three-time Champions League winner Iker Casillas might be the greatest La Liga goalkeeper of all-time.

While he peculiarly won just one Zamora Trophy, Casillas has a healthy collection of individual honours alongside his team medals for club and country.

He was voted IFFHS’ World’s Best Goalkeeper five years in a row, was selected to the UEFA Team of the Year in five straight years, and has the most clean sheets in Champions League history.

San Iker was the constant amid consistent player turnover at the Bernabeu. Los Blancos has had no trouble finding successors, but no one can replicate what Casillas’ longevity in La Liga betting.


Sam is a sports tipster, specialising in the Premier League and Champions League.

He covers most sports, including cricket and Formula One. Sam particularly enjoys those on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean – notably MLB and NBA.

Watching, writing and talking about sports betting takes up most of his time, whether that is for a day out at T20 Finals Day or a long night of basketball.

Having been writing for several years, Sam has been working with 888Sport since 2016, contributing multiple articles per week to the blog.