Just like any other outfield position, the goalkeepers in women’s football are getting better by the day with the introduction of specialist coaches and the overall rapid expansion of women’s football over the last decade or so. Similar to their male counterparts, these female goalkeepers have been solid and mostly impenetrable between the sticks, producing outstanding saves and winning games for their club and country.
So, without further ado, I present to you my top ten female goalkeepers in the world right now.
#10 Pauline Peyraud-Magnin
30 years old • Juventus Women • France
30-year-old Pauline Peyraud-Magnin has had quite the career. Having played for clubs like Lyon, Marseille, Arsenal and Atlético Madrid, she found her latest home in Turin with Juventus last summer. Magnin was instrumental in Juventus making it out of the group stages of the UEFA Women’s Champions League (UWCL) last year as she led the charge by keeping the joint-most clean sheets in the tournament.
This season, too, Peyraud-Magnin has been important for both club and country. The cold relationship between the France women’s national team coach Corinne Diacre and veteran goalkeeper Sarah Bouhaddi meant Peyraud-Magnin started all of France’s Euro 2022 matches as they made it to their first-ever semi-final in an international tournament.
#9 Almuth Schult
31 years old • Angel City FC • Germany
Almuth Schult is a different case altogether. She was named the IFFHS Women’s Goalkeeper of the Decade for the 2010s, was at the peak of her powers, and won just about every competition out there for club and country. Then, in 2019, she put her career on hold to become the only mother in the Frauen-Bundesliga.
She spent the next couple of seasons on the bench, having started exactly two games during that period. However, last season, the Germany international bid farewell to her nine-year spell at VfL Wolfsburg with arguably the best season of her career. Schult played a pivotal role in Wolfsburg winning their fourth Frauen-Bundesliga title as well as making it to the semi-finals of the UWCL. This season, Schult has signed for the newly-formed club Angel City in the US.
#8 Ellie Roebuck
23 years old • Manchester City Women • England
If there’s one goalkeeper in this list who’s destined to make big leaps in the next couple of years, it’s Ellie Roebuck. It’s still fascinating to think that Roebuck is only 23 years old. She made her league debut at the age of 17, and since then has gone on to win one WSL title, three women’s FA Cups, and three League Cups with her club.
The England international was out for some time last season with a calf injury, which led to her losing her spot in the national team to Mary Earps and Manchester City struggling to win games for a sustained period. However, she returned to fitness soon and played like a woman possessed, recording the highest saves percentage (83.3%) and conceding just three goals in ten games as Man City secured that all-important final UWCL place last season.
#7 Adrianna Franch
32 years old • Kansas City Current • USA
The United States goalkeeper department was so stacked for a number of years that Adrianna Franch played back up to the likes of Ashlyn Harris and Alyssa Naeher. Franch is very good aerially, and her great positioning between the sticks and reflexes make her one of the best in the world. She won the NWSL Goalkeeper of the Year in 2017 and 2018.
Last season, Franch made 65 saves, which was the third-best in the league. Besides, the seven saves she pulled off against OL Reign in the NWSL semi-final match helped Kansas City Current reach their first-ever NWSL Playoff Final.
#6 Kailen Sheridan
27 years old • San Diego Wave • Canada
2022 has turned out to be the year where Kailen Sheridan announces herself as one of the best in her position. The 27-year-old emerged as one of the stand-out players for the newly-formed San Diego Wave franchise in the NWSL in 2022, as the Waves became the first expansion team to reach the NWSL Playoffs. Sheridan conceded just 17 goals throughout the season and was given the Goalkeeper of the Year award off the back of it, becoming the first Canadian to win an individual award in the league.
Besides her exploits in club football, Sheridan took the No.1 shirt in the Canadian senior women’s national team following Stephanie Labbe’s retirement. Sheridan won the Golden Glove in the 2022 Women’s CONCACAF Championship, letting in just one goal in the entire tournament.
#5 Ann-Katrin Berger
32 years old • Chelsea Women • Germany
Ann-Katrin Berger had a brilliant 2022, as Chelsea won their third WSL title while the German was in goal for both of Chelsea’s Women’s FA Cup successes last season. She conceded just 8 goals in 14 league games last season, exhibiting outstanding stop-stopping ability whenever required, which eventually led to her first international call-up with Germany for Women’s Euro 2022.
In August, Chelsea announced that Berger had suffered a recurrence of the thyroid cancer she had suffered earlier in her career. The 32-year-old underwent treatment quickly and made a swift return to Chelsea’s starting line-up at the end of September.
#4 Mary Earps
29 years old • Manchester United Women • England
Mary Earps is the prime example of someone grabbing their opportunity with both hands. The 29-year-old Manchester United shot-stopper had a decent 2021/22 campaign as the Red Devils finished fourth in the WSL, five points behind the third and final UWCL qualifying spot.
It was an unfortunate Ellie Roebuck injury that turned fortunate for Earps as she started in goal for Sarina Wiegman’s first game in charge of England, and she hasn’t looked back since. She started all six games for England at Euro 2022, conceding just two goals in the entire tournament as England went all the way, eclipsing Germany 2-1 in the final, and earned a place in the 2022 Euro Team of the Tournament.
Moreover, Earps has started the new WSL season in equally good form and currently holds the WSL all-time clean sheets record with 43.
#3 Manuela Zinsberger
27 years old • Arsenal Women • Austria
The 27-year-old Arsenal first-choice keeper has kept on improving year after year. After quite possibly recording the best professional season of her career last season, where the Gunners finished in second place, one point behind WSL winners Chelsea, Zinsberger won the Golden Glove, having kept 13 clean sheets in a 22-game season with an 80.3% saves percentage, the most any keeper has ever managed in a single season.
Zinsberger’s good form has carried on into the 2022/23 season. She has already broken the record for the most consecutive clean sheets, with 10 this season. She already has six clean sheets in nine league games and two from four in the UWCL. She is also maintaining an ever-impressive 82.2% saves percentage across all competitions this season.
#2 Christiane Endler
31 years old • Olympique Lyonnais Féminin • Chile
The hallmark of a great goalkeeper is their ability to pull off extraordinary saves that make you go: “How on earth did she pull that off?” And Christiane Endler’s highlight package falls somewhere between absurd and ridiculous. Apart from her excellent shot-stopping ability, her sharp footwork and reflexes also allow her to make saves that shouldn’t be made. The Chilean joined Lyon from Paris Saint-Germain last season and proved her worth immediately by keeping the most clean sheets in the league as Lyon won yet another Division 1 title.
Moreover, Endler was equally important in Lyon’s Champions League run as they made it to another final, especially her saves in the second leg of the semi-finals against PSG proving pivotal. Lyon won the final against Barcelona, although Endler had very little to do throughout the match. The only reason she isn’t #1 is that she hasn’t had a great first half of the 2022/23 season, most notably shipping five goals against Arsenal at home in the Champions League group stages.
#1 Merle Frohms
27 years old • VfL Wolfsburg Frauen • Germany
Just like the US, Germany is another country that has more goalkeepers than it knows what to do with. And if I have to draw an analogy to their male counterparts, if Schult is Manuel Neuer, Frohms is Marc-André ter Stegen, a fearless goalkeeper who finally got her chance and took it with both hands when Schult was out.
2022 has turned out to be the year the 27-year-old found herself on the biggest stage. After three seasons fighting in the mid-table, Frohms played a big role in Eintracht Frankfurt finishing third in the Frauen-Bundesliga and qualifying for the Champions League, while she was again instrumental in the Euros as she kept four clean sheets as Germany’s No. 1 – the joint highest – as they narrowly lost to England 2-1 in extra-time in the final. Following this, VfL Wolfsburg snapped her up, and Frohms is currently sitting pretty at the top of both her league and the UWCL group at the time of writing.