17. Dino Zoff
Before Gianluigi Buffon, there was Dino Zoff. It’s not overly easy to quantify the impact a goalkeeper may have on a club. So much of the success is dependent upon the team’s shape — as well as the personnel/effectiveness of its defense. With that said, Zoff — a short goalkeeper compared to the average netminder today — was utterly brilliant.
To this day, Zoff holds the distinction as being the oldest goalkeeper to win a World Cup. He was 40 years old when helping Italy achieve the feat in 1982. Zoff was also integral in helping his home country win the Euros more than a decade prior. He wasn’t the biggest keeper at roughly 6-feet tall. As such, he had to rely upon supreme positioning, cat-like reflexes, and the communication skills needed to organize his backline. Zoff also had the ability to play out of the back with his feet — something many keepers can’t even do in the modern game.
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