The 2022 FIFA World Cup ended in stunning fashion last Sunday, with Argentina beating France on penalties to lift the trophy for the third time in their history.
Strangely enough, for a final that featured six goals and two of the game’s best attacking players going blow for blow, the game also highlighted how critical the actions of a goalkeeper can be in dictating results, World Cup winners and legacies.
For that reason, we decided to delve into our metrics to rank our top five goalkeepers from the 2022 World Cup.
1. Emiliano Martinez, Argentina
Martinez’s heroics in the final secured the Golden Glove Award and the No. 1 spot on our list.
The Argentinian shot-stopper was relatively quiet during the earlier stages of the tournament but came to life in the knockout stages, saving two penalties in the quarterfinal shootout and keeping a clean sheet against Croatia in the semifinal.
In the final, he produced one of the saves of the tournament to deny Randal Kolo Muani in the 123rd minute to send the game to penalties, where his save from Kingsley Coman helped Argentina secure their first World Cup since 1986.
The quality of his shot-stopping shone through in our metrics, with Martinez boasting the tournament’s second-highest shot-stopping grade at 88.0. His positioning was also superb, as he received zero downgrades for positioning through seven matches.
When you combine this with the fact that he produced his best performance in the final — with three positively graded saves — when his team and country needed him the most, he was the obvious choice to be our top goalkeeper of the 2022 World Cup.
2. Wojciech Szczesny, Poland
Szczesny left Qatar with the most saves of the World Cup (22) despite only playing four matches, which translates to 4.9 saves per 90 minutes. This volume was met with quality, too, as the Juventus man saved 81.5% of the shots he faced and earned an 85.1 shot-stopping grade, both good for fourth among all goalkeepers who played at least 200 minutes.
His best performance of the tournament came against Saudi Arabia when he kept a clean sheet and graded positively on four of his five saves. His most important performance arguably came against Argentina when he saved nine of the 11 shots on target to help put Poland through the group on goal difference. The best save that night? Saving a Lionel Messi penalty — the only goalkeeper to do that out of seven attempts this tournament.
3. Bono, Morocco
First and foremost, Bono finished third in PFF shot-stopping grade at 85.8. His best performances were in Morocco’s two biggest wins against Spain and Portugal, where he saved every shot he faced (four) in normal and extra time, as well a two penalties in the shootout against Spain.
Bono also excelled at taking pressure off his defense through important clearances and with his commanding presence in the air, as he finished first among keepers in clearance grade and second in aerial-duel grade.
4. Dominik Livakovic, Croatia
The Croatian keeper was tested lightly during the group stages — he saved three of the four on-target shots he faced — but this changed when he reached the knockout stages.
He put in his two best performances against Japan and Brazil to help guide Croatia into the semifinals, saving 12-of-14 shots faced in normal and extra time before going on to stop four penalties across two shootouts.
Other facets of play stopped him from being ranked higher on the list: He was middle of the pack when it came to passing and clearance grades, and he was below average when it came to aerial duels and positioning.
5. Jordan Pickford, England
Pickford's 93.3 shot-stopping grade was the best at the tournament. He didn't receive one downgrade when tested and produced some high-quality saves, most notably against Senegal in the Round of 16. He was also one of seven goalkeepers at the tournament not to receive a negative positioning grade.
Pickford also provided quality with the ball at his feet, earning the second-highest passing grade (75.6) among keepers behind only Yann Sommer of Switzerland, and he finished second among goalkeepers in clearance grade (82.5).
If England had gone further in the tournament, Pickford would have likely been a Golden Glove contender.