Madrid, Apr 2 (efe-epa).- Efficient, economic and prestigious, three words that describe the archetype of the modern Spanish goalkeeper, an increasingly in demand but affordable player profile for many of the world’s leading clubs.
A trail that was blazed by veteran keepers like Pepe Reina and David de Gea, Elche’s Edgar Badía, valued by Transfermarkt at just two million euros, leads a roster of new names that would boost any top European club’s squad.
Nowadays, a Spanish goalkeeper playing abroad in Europe’s top leagues is common, but that was not the case for several decades until the turn of the century.
Spanish goalkeepers are now part of globalization. During the last decade, their presence in European leagues has increased dramatically: 14 Spanish shot-stoppers are currently employed around the continent’s top flights, with seven of them in the Premier League at giants like Chelsea, Manchester United or Liverpool.
And now, players such as Badía, Fernando Pacheco of Alavés, Getafe’s David Soria and Aitor Fernández of Levante are not going unnoticed. Badía of LaLiga minnows Elche leads the league with 91 saves in 28 games.
According to Transfermarkt, a website specialized in evaluating the football transfer market, Badía would only cost 2 million euros, a bargain in today’s game.
He is the best example of proven quality at a ridiculously low price, but the rest are not far behind: Soria would cost 9 million; Pacheco 10 and Aitor Fernández, 8, all more than affordable sums for Europe’s big clubs.
Chelsea forked up 80 million euros just three years ago for Kepa Arrizabalaga, while Atletico de Madrid sold David de Gea to Manchester United for 25 million nearly a decade ago. EFE-EPA