Although Chilavert played the majority of his professional career during the 90’s he did carry on playing until the ripe old age of 38 (for a footballer at least) and more importantly, into the 21st century. A look into past winners of the ‘IFFHS World’s Best Goalkeeper’ award shows how many of the world’s best shot stoppers played with a unique style, Manuel Neuer and his ‘sweeper keeper’ style being a good example.
Even floundering Fabian Barthez was once voted the worlds best in his trade with his similar, yet significantly less successful ‘sweeper keeper’ style consistently keeping United’s ‘Class of 95’ from becoming an all conquering footballing behemoth.
nfortunately for the goalkeepers who have managed to do it a bit differently and still keep the ball out of the net they just cannot match the set piece taking keeper for sheer entertainment value. Although there have been many set piece taking keepers in the past only Rogerio Ceni can boast scoring more than Chilavert and it was difficult to decide between the two of them; however there is one standout goal that defined Chilavert, a goalkeeper with the confidence and vision most strikers can only dream of.
Scoring a goal like that in such a huge game is, in my opinion, easily on par with Rooney’s overhead against City, possibly even Zidane’s volley in 2002…
Chilavert is the only keeper outside of Europe to have been recognised by the IFFHS, and one of only 5 to have won the best keeper award 3 or more times. Having gained a lasting reputation across the globe for what he did at the wrong end of the pitch, for a keeper at least, people often forget how good he was at his main job.