Goal Keepers! The evolution of the Brazilian women’s team goalkeepers

At Euro 2022, the female goalkeepers are putting on a show. Are the tupiniquin shotstoppers following suit?

Football goalkeepers have a difficult life. Even if you were once the crowd’s idol and hero, with only one or two mistakes, you are now being called a villain and a “chicken.” The quality of shirt 1, whose owners believe they can never go wrong, is already under doubt.

And it’s not only in men’s football that this occurs. It was common to see goalkeepers in ladies, who are significantly shorter than men, take high or long-distance kicks. But is this narrative evolving along with the technological advancement of the athletes?

The evolution of goalkeepers in football

Before Euro 2022, goalkeepers in women’s football competitions have never performed so well, according to a recent story by the American website “The Athletic,” which also covers the United Kingdom.

The competition, which has been underway in England since July 6th, is set to conclude on July 31st. The previous competitors who have participated in the tournament in the past are pleased with the goalkeepers’ present performance, even if they have not yet reached the finals.

Ex-England goalkeeper is impressed

“We are at the best level of goalkeepers ever. Look at Germany’s goalkeeper, Merle Frohms… some of the saves she made against Spain were excellent, we’re at the height of quality in the position”, said Rachel Brown-Finnis, former England goalkeeper, in a recent interview with the The Athletic.

 And in the Brazilian team?

Currently playing goaltender for the Brazilian women’s team is Grêmio native Lorena. She was offered the opportunity to compete in the 2022 Copa America, which is still up for question, after being owned by Barbara for years.

However, before  Barbara, we had other exceptional athletes who were essential Brazilian national team goalkeepers. To see whether we are gaining favour with Brazilian women, look at who they are and some of their statistics.

Maravilha

Maravilha goleira

The 1990s saw the 1.72-meter-tall goalie start for the national team in matches. She last competed in a competition while holding the role in 1999, at the World Cup.

Brazil placed third overall in the competition after losing to the United States in the semifinals and defeating Norway in the tiebreaker to maintain a podium position. She took part in six games and allowed seven goals (average of 1.16 conceded per game).

Andreia

Andreia goleira

With the Brazilian squad, Andreia started in at least three World Cups and three Olympics. She last participated in the 2012 Olympic Games and is regarded as an icon of our women’s football.

Brazil lost against Japan in the competition’s quarterfinals, and thus were eliminated. Andrea participated in four games, although she only allowed three goals (0.75 per game). Her height is 1.76 metres.

Barbara

Barbara goleira

(Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)

After some time had passed, Andreia offered Barbara the chance to start. The then-new goaltender for the national side, competed in her last big match at the 2020 Olympic Games.

Canada defeated Brazil in the quarterfinals of the competition. Barbara played in four games in the tournament, conceding three goals (average of 0.75 goals conceded per match). She stands at 1.71 metres tall.

Lorena

Lorena goleira

(Photo by David Lidstrom/Getty Images)

The new starting goalie of the team, Lorena, is 1.83 metres tall, which makes her taller than all the past occupants of the aforementioned position—at least in the Copa América 2022, which is in question. Barbara, who was not selected for the South American competition, is 34 years old, and she is just 25 years old, therefore she is well equipped to handle the role.

The Copa América was already underway when this piece was published (27 July), and the final between Brazil and Colombia was already set for 30 July. Although Lorena hasn’t let in any goals so far in the competition, it’s crucial to note that the competition is considerably lower than it is at the Olympics and World Cup.

About the data

We can observe that, although maintaining the proper proportions, the number of goals allowed in significant contests has increased since goalie Maravilha handed up her spot to Andreia, Barbara, and, as of today, Lorena.

With the exception of Lorena, the other players were all quite similar in height, but even so, the average number of goals allowed ranged from 1.16 to 0.75, and it is now 0.

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