Experience necessary: EURO goalkeepers in focus

Who is the oldest goalkeeper to have won the UEFA European Championship? And what is the average age of the victorious No1s? UEFA.com explains all.

Andreas Köpke (right) alongside Jürgen Klinsmann after the EURO '96 final
Andreas Köpke (right) alongside Jürgen Klinsmann after the EURO '96 final ©Getty Images

The saying goes that goalkeepers, like fine wine, get better with age. And when it comes to the UEFA European Championship, history suggests the older, more experienced heads have the edge, with the average age of the winning shot-stopper 29 years and 94 days.

UEFA EURO 2016 GOALKEEPERS CLOSEST TO THE MEAN WINNING AGE (on final day)
Hugo Lloris (France) – 29 years, 198 days
Joe Hart (England) – 29 years, 83 days
Manuel Neuer (Germany) – 30 years, 106 days

Since the first tournament in 1960, only one keeper under 25 – Spain's 21-year-old José Ángel Iribar in 1964 – has tasted victory in the final. By contrast, six of the 14 triumphant custodians have been 30 and over, the eldest being Germany's Andreas Köpke at EURO '96.

Spain's Iker Casillas lifts the Henri Delaunay Cup in 2012
Spain's Iker Casillas lifts the Henri Delaunay Cup in 2012©Getty Images

WINNING GOALKEEPERS
1960: Lev Yashin – 30 years, 262 days
1964: José Ángel Iribar – 21 years, 112 days
1968: Dino Zoff – 26 years, 103 days
1972: Sepp Maier – 28 years, 111 days
1976: Ivo Viktor – 34 years, 30 days
1980: Harald Schumacher – 26 years, 108 days
1984: Joël Bats – 27 years, 175 days
1988: Hans van Breukelen – 31 years, 265 days
1992: Peter Schmeichel – 28 years, 221 days
1996: Andreas Köpke – 34 years, 110 days
2000: Fabien Barthez – 29 years, 4 days
2004: Antonis Nikopolidis – 33 years, 172 days
2008: Iker Casillas – 27 years, 40 days
2012: Iker Casillas – 31 years, 42 days

Thibaut Courtois is Belgium's No1 at only 24 years old
Thibaut Courtois is Belgium's No1 at only 24 years old©AFP/Getty Images

UEFA EURO 2016'S YOUNGEST GOALKEEPERS (on final day)
Sergio Rico (Spain) – 22 years, 314 days
Danny Ward (Wales) – 23 years, 19 days
Mykyta Shevchenko (Ukraine) – 23 years, 167 days
Tomas Koubek (Czech Republic) – 23 years, 320 days
Thibaut Courtois (Belgium) – 24 years, 61 days
Marc-Andre ter Stegen (Germany) – 24 years, 72 days
Bernd Leno (Germany) – 24 years, 129 days
Patrik Carlgren (Sweden) – 24 years, 185 days

Iker Casillas became the first glovesman to lift the Henri Delaunay Cup twice when Spain retained the European title four years ago. Should La Roja make it a hat-trick at Stade de France on 10 July, the Porto man would become the most senior victorious No1 at 35 years and 52 days old.

History maker? Hungary's 40-year-old Gábor Király
History maker? Hungary's 40-year-old Gábor Király©Getty Images

OLDEST GOALKEEPERS AT UEFA EURO 2016 (on final day)
Gábor Király (Hungary) – 40 years, 101 days
Shay Given (Republic of Ireland) – 40 years, 82 days
Orges Shehi (Albania) – 38 years, 290 days
Roy Carroll (Northern Ireland) – 38 years, 285 days
Gianluigi Buffon (Italy) – 38 years, 165 days
Jean-Francois Gillet (Belgium) – 37 years, 41 days
Artur Boruc (Poland) – 36 years, 142 days
Iker Casillas (Spain) – 35 years, 52 days

Gábor Király and Shay Given could be the first 40-year-olds, regardless of position, to feature at a EURO finals. Gianluigi Buffon, Given and Király are the three oldest players at the tournament in France.

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