Euro 2020: Day 29
The nerves are already kicking in ahead of the final, but for now I want to reflect back on the tournament so far, and look at a few of the goalkeepers. Jordan Pickford has already been confirmed as the golden glove winner by virtue of having kept 5 clean sheets so far, his closest rival and the man who will be facing him on Sunday, Gianluigi Donnarumma only having managed 3 so far, conceding against both Austria and Belgium on the way to the final. However, for me neither are the keeper of the tournament, and I would say that Yann Sommer has probably once again been the stand out keeper (he always seems to put in the performances for Switzerland at major tournaments). The 32 year old is head and shoulders above everyone else when it comes to saves made, with 22 stops to his name, Danny Ward and Uğurcan Çakır his closest competitors 4 saves behind.
Aside from Sommer, Kasper Schmeichel has also had a great tournament despite the challenging start, and for a while it looked like he may even repeat the heroics of his father back in 1992, before England secured the win. With a save rate of 71%, he made 16 saves during the tournament, including that crucial penalty save against Harry Kane in the semi-final only to be undone by the rebound. This is another metric in which Pickford is the front runner, having saved 90.9% of the shots faced, almost 10% higher than Donnarumma, although naturally this could all change on Sunday.
It is fair to say all the above are well known, especially by fans of European football, but one who perhaps was not as well known, despite playing in the Bundesliga, was Lukáš Hrádecký. Starting for Leverkusen, the Finnish shot stopper only kept 8 clean sheets in the German top flight. However, during the Euros he maintained an impressive 80% save rate across his three games for his nation, also outperforming all his peers when it came to bucking the xG odds (i.e., he saved more shots than he was expected to). Born in Slovakia, he moved to Finland aged just 1 and made his way through the ranks with the youth levels before being handed his first call-up by Scottish manager Stuart Baxter. He has gone on to play for his country 68 times, his performances at the European Championships no doubt the highlight.
A final stat worth noting is the number of crosses successfully claimed by the keeper, and given his frame there should be no surprise that Gianluigi Donnarumma is the leader here, although Stole Dimitrievski of North Macedonia had a better success rate, claiming a quarter of all the crosses he faced. The fact Donnarumma is so dominant aerially is something England will need to be mindful of in the final as they look to create opportunities against the Milan man.Share this: