The International Federation of Football History and Statistics (IFFHS) announced on Friday that Iker Casillas has been named, for the fifth year in succession, the best goalkeeper in the world. The IFFHS was founded in Leipzig, Germany in 1984 and is comprised of 200 experts from national history and statistic associations from all parts of the globe.
The world's best goalkeeper category was introduced 26 years ago and it's interesting to note that there are only nine candidates in the list for the 2012 award. Casillas polled more votes than fellow candidates which included: Gianluigi Buffon, Petr Cech, Manuel Neuer, Hugo Lloris and Samir Handanovic.
For the IFFHS panel, there were numerous reasons why the Real Madrid skipper deserves the accolade such as Spain's triumph at EURO 2012 (in which Casillas saved a penalty from Moutinho in the shoot-out against Portugal) and his heroics in the penalty shoot-out against Bayern Munich in the Champions League semi-final. Other factors in Iker's favour were his successes in domestic competition - a record-breaking season in the league and a Spanish Supercup triumph over Barcelona.
Further recognition for the Real Madrid keeper, who last week was also voted the world's best by The Guardian and featured in L'Equipe's team of 2012. Iker also features in another IFFHS ranking - that of the ?World's Best Goalkeepers of the 21st Century'. He currently lies second, just one point behind Buffon but could dethrone the Italian should he rank just two places above him in the 2013 poll.