The Goalkeepers10 Commandments

By Moacyr Barbosa, under request by Revista do Esporte, 1959


1st Purpose Thats the essential thing. Without purpose, it wont work. Its wasted work. Its a requirement that the person is born tailored for the position, that they enjoy playing under the posts.


2nd Quick thinking The goalkeeper is not allowed to hesitate, not even for a second. He should decide rapidly: to come forward in order to stop the ball or hold on until the move finishes. He should monitor the moves with reason.


3rd Reflex This is more like an instinctive thing. Even though, the goalkeeper should make an effort to gain the reflexes the position requires.


4th Coup dœil Very important, as it is necessary to calculate the direction and height of the ball in relation to the ground. It also saves energy, avoiding unnecessary jumps.


5th Boldness The good goalkeeper should be brave. A mandatory virtue. There are certain situations in which only the archers bravery saves a citadel. He should be able to be bold when the opponent is close, trying not to confuse himself, of course. For that, theres a special technique, only taught by experience.


6th Serenity One should be serene. A fundamental virtue. He cant lose his temper or become frightened, otherwise he may blow it. One other thing: the marker cannot influence his performance. He should ideally ignore him, or at least not worry with him.


7th Hand Firmness Steady Hands. He must hold the ball with power. Palming away or considering a punch is always dangerous. Theres nothing better than holding the ball firmly and rolling yourself over it. Such virtue is only gained through hard training.


8th Height This is not dependent on the individual, but helps a lot. This, however, is not detrimental to short goalkeepers, since Ive me two short-stature ones that were real snakes: Aimoré and Vítor. A tall, high-jumping goalkeeper has a lot of edge against corner kicks, for instance.


9th Elasticity The goalkeeper must know how to stretch, as endless balls are shot at the top bins. Dominance over every muscle in your body is essential.


10° Weight A lot of times, five or six extra pounds can impair a great deal of the individuals elasticity. In order to keep a normal weight, a proper diet is advised.