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Euro 2016 Best Saves

In a tournament like Euro 2016 where each team is scrapping and fighting for every single point on offer, the need for an impenetrable goalkeeper backing up a country’s defense is the difference between progression into the latter stages of the tournament and an early holiday for the players and fans watching the final matches, crest fallen and wishing it would all just end. This tournament has seen some of the world’s finest goalkeepers guarding their nets so preciously that it is a wonder that there have been any goals at all!! For those learning the art of goalkeeping this has been a feast of learning material to inspire and show just how to be the saviour that keeps the team’s chances alive, even when all else seems lost. Here’s some great examples of the basics that all goalkeepers need to know…

Stand up tall

As a goalkeeper your biggest attribute will be your size and your body. No matter how tall you are as long as you stop the ball it doesn’t matter if you claw the ball out with your fingertips or you rickershay it away with your hip, your job it to keep it out of the net. You will need to be brave and make yourself the biggest possible obstacle on attackers bearing down on your goal – give them as little sight of the goal as possible and spread yourself out – wherever that ball hits you, as long as it doesn’t end up in the back of the net – you’re a hero! Here’s how Euro 2016’s bravest goalkeepers have been standing tall against rushing attackers:

Always be ready to spring in action

You can’t help but imagine the photo-worthy save from the goalkeeper at full stretch, acrobatically tipping the ball to safety. The key is to remember to keep yourself on your toes. You will need to be ready for a shot or a deflection heading off in an angle towards your goal, if your are on your toes and ready to jump you may well be able to snatch that ball away from the goal before it’s too late. Plus, if we’re honest – those saves look the coolest, too!
Just like these examples from Euro 2016, you will need to always be ready:

Don’t be afraid to use your feet

One of your biggest tools as a goalkeeper is the reflex abilities of your feet and being able to stick them out at shots that attackers try to roll under you. You will be able to lead with your feet into one-on-one confrontations with attackers and they will add that extra level of elastic like reach to defy the strikers. You will occasionally find yourself reacting first with your feet and when off balance or when faced with rapid fire shots, the ability to have two extra limbs that you are able to stick out could be the difference for you and your team. Here’s how we have seen this so far at the Euros:

Having strong wrists

One of most protective tools as a goalkeeper is the strength in your wrists, perfect for diverting those dangerous crosses or powerful shots away from your goal. Your fingers and your wrists will be another of your big weapons against attacks and if trained properly and strengthened through training, that will give you the ability to kick start counter attacks as your hammer all crosses and shots at your goal away down field. Check out the strength of some of the best goalkeepers in the world that have kept sides at bay with the strength in their hands:

Palm it out to safety

It will be key that when you parry a shot you parry it to a place where you or team team is able to deal with it. When dangerous shots are taken at your goal it will important that you don’t just stop it, but that you prevent from further danger by making sure the ball ends up where you or a teammate can clear it to safety. Often this will take the form of parrying it out for a corner and allowing you defense to regroup, but sometimes you will need to parry the ball away to an area on the pitch where there are no on-rushing attackers following up to score. Here’s how we have seen examples of this so far in the tournament: