Five top goalkeepers in LaLiga history

After Thibaut Courtois, from Real Madrid, Jan Oblak won the trophy this season. The Atlético goalkeeper thus adds his fifth trophy and stands as the goalkeeper with the most Zamoras along with Ramallets and Víctor Valdés. We run through some of the most iconic and unique keepers from all over the world to have won this award in recent years.  

Jan Oblak (Atletico de Madrid) 

We start with the most recent. Atleti’s Slovenian keeper has cemented his reputation as one of the world’s premier shot stoppers in recent years, taking home five Zamora awards from the last six (2015-16, 2016-17, 2017-18, 2018-19, 2020-21). An almost wall-like between the sticks for Los Colchoneros since joining from Portuguese side Benfica in 2014, Oblak is a bona fide star for coach Diego Simeone’s famously defensively tight team.  

BARCELONA, ESPANA – OCTUBRE 26: Victor Valdes en el partido entre el FC Barcelona vs Real Madrid, jornada 10 de la Liga BBVA 2013-2014 en el Estadio del Camp Nou el 26 de octubre 2013 / Barcelona, Spanish BBVA Liga. FC Barcelona vs Real Madrid. Spanish first division soccer match at Nou Camp stadium in Barcelona, October 26, 2013 /(Photo: Mikel Trigueros / UrbanandSport / Cordon Press)

Victor Valdes (FC Barcelona) 

Never recognised at international level to the extent his El Clasico rival Iker Casillas was, Victor Valdes nevertheless wrote his name into both the LaLiga and Barcelona history books by picking up five Zamora awards, including four consecutive gongs between 2008 and 2012. Comfortable with the ball at his feet and with a knack for pulling off incredible saves at big moments, Valdes was in many senses the perfect goalkeeper for the iconic and possession-based Barcelona sides of the mid-00s and 2010s. A true legend of Spanish football.  

Roberto Abbondanzieri (Getafe CF) 

The long-time Argentina number one picked up the Zamora trophy in 2006/07 against all the odds as part of an unfancied but remarkable Getafe side which ended the season with the best defensive record in the whole of LaLiga Santander. El Pato – ‘The Duck’ – became a fan favourite in his three seasons at the suburban Madrid side, sandwiched between over a decade at Argentinian side Boca Juniors. It’s easy to forget just how good Abbondanzieri actually was; he was named among the top 10 goalkeepers in the world of the 2000s by the International Federation of Football History and Statistics (IFFHHS). 

Santiago Cañizares (RC Celta, Valencia CF) 

Remembered across Europe for his bleach blond hair and fast reflexes, Cañizares won four Zamora titles with two different sides throughout his career. His first came at RC Celta in 1992/93, sharing the award with Francisco Liaño over at local rivals RC Deportivo. By the late 1990s, he’d made his way to Valencia CF via hometown club Real Madrid. At Mestalla he won three more, becoming an icon of the club’s late-90s and early 00s success: 2000/01, 2001/02 and 2003/04, the final two coming in LaLiga title-winning seasons.  

Jacques Songo’o (RC Deportivo) 

The only African to ever win the Zamora and one of the most loved foreign imports to LaLiga over the last few decades, Cameroon international Songo’o won the award in 1996/97 – his first ever season in Spanish football – as RC Deportivo finished third behind champions Real Madrid and a Ronaldo Nazario led Barcelona side. Famously a fan of playing in long trousers, the Yaoundé-born shot stopper would go on to win a LaLiga title in 1999/00 and settle in the area after retirement.   

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