Goalkeeper (association football)

Goalkeeper (Association Football)

Goalkeeper (association football)

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In association football, the goalkeeper (or keeper, or goalie) occupies a position that represents the last line of defence between the opponent's offence and his own team's goal. The primary role of the goalkeeper is to defend his team's goal and prevent the opposition from scoring a goal. The goalkeeper is the only player who is permitted to touch the ball with his hands or arms in open play (within his own penalty area). Each team is required to have a goalkeeper on the field at all times during a match. If a goalkeeper is forced to leave a match due to injury or being sent off, another player must occupy the post if the team has no substitute goalkeeper available and/or has used up its allotted substitutions.

Goalkeeper is often abbreviated GK in lineup cards, match reports, and TV captions. The terms keeper and goalie are also commonly used. This position is colloquially referred as 'custodian' or 'the man between the posts' (or 'sticks').

Goalkeepers on average have the longest playing career of any position in football, often playing into their early 40s.

History

Football, like many sports, has experienced many changes in tactics that have generated positions, as well as made positions disappear. Goalkeeper is the only position which is certain to have existed since the creation of the rules of the sport. Even in the early days of organised football, when systems were limited or non-existent and the main idea was for all field players to attack and defend, teams had a...
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