Laureus Ambassadors Edwin van der Sar & Jens Lehmann: 2014 World Cup preview
June 20, 2014
In a special World Cup preview, goalkeeper legends Edwin van der Sar of Holland and Jens Lehmann of Germany tell Laureus who they think will be the star ‘keepers in Brazil this summer.
Manuel Neuer [of Germany] is a fantastic goalkeeper; probably right now in the tournament the best you can see. And Iker Casillas will be there, but I do not rate him as high as Manuel Neuer. But still, these two teams [Germany and Spain] will compete for the championship at the end of the tournament.
Brazil we will see will be a strong team. There will be some other goalkeepers, who are currently not playing at a very high level in the Champions League, apart, from Courtois. Courtois is a really promising talent and could make a difference with Belgium, because Belgium is probably the most underrated team right now because they have got a great group of players.
So I guess that even Courtois will be among the best there.
Edwin van der Sar
It's an interesting situation about Casillas.
Initially he was the best out of the team at Real Madrid, only playing the Champions League and the Cup [Copa del Rey] and the other goalkeepers played the league matches. So he won the Cup and is in the Champions League final. So I think his position in the Spanish team is still strong.
Buffon, of course, is still there for Italy. And I am looking forward to seeing Courtois. Four years ago, I think he was fifth goalkeeper at a small club in Belgium and because of two injuries he got a chance on the team. An unbelievable rise from a small club in Belgium to Chelsea. That brought him the success that he has at Atlético Madrid now. I will look forward to seeing him on the Belgian team doing well.
Of course, Brazil’s Júlio César had a great career in Italy and somehow I think it got, what do you call, euthanasia. I was in a similar situation.
Only one goalkeeper can play on a team. So he decided to go to the Premier League, Queens Park Rangers. I was surprised he got relegated because it was not a quality that they needed that he brought. At Toronto at least he is playing at the highest level. But I think Brazilians are able to focus on World Cups and important games, so I don't see a problem for him playing at the highest level at the World Cup in his home country.
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