Nadine Angerer (Germany)
Born: 10 November 1978, Lohr am Main, Germany
146 international caps (0 goals)
As Germany's most successful female goalkeeper in history, Nadine Angerer is undoubtedly an icon of women's football. A five-time European champion, she also earned a winner's medal at the FIFA Women's World Cup 2003™, albeit without playing a single minute at the tournament. Four years later, she was a world champion again – only this time as Germany's No1.
Angerer's reflexes and reliability played an essential role in her country's successful title defence; she did not concede a single goal all competition. She kept that record intact by saving a penalty from none other than five-time FIFA Women's World Player of the Year Marta in the second half of the final against Brazil. She was quite literally unbeatable in achieving such a stunning feat.
There was plenty more silverware to come. Angerer helped Germany win European Championship titles in 2009 and 2013, and at the latter edition in particular, she once again showcased her extraordinary goalkeeping skills, only conceding once en route to the title. 'Natze' even saved two penalties in the final to ensure a narrow 1-0 victory over Norway. It was an astonishing achievement, and one that contributed to her being crowned both European Women's Player of the Year and FIFA Women's World Player of the Year for 2013.
That is all a far cry from the early stages of her career, when it seemed she would not make it in the game at all. A former striker, she only went between the posts during a trial match to fill in for an injured goalkeeper – and was promptly discovered.
Angerer made her international debut on 27 August 1996 and played the full 90 minutes in a 3-0 triumph over the Netherlands. Just a year later, she won her first-ever title when Germany lifted the European Championship.
Angerer retired from international football on 4 July 2015 following a 1-0 defeat to England after extra time in the play-off for third place at the Women's World Cup in Canada. In doing so, she called time on a Germany career spanning 18 years, nine months, and 16 days, in which she made 146 appearances in her country's colours. Angerer retired from football altogether soon afterwards, having had spells at clubs in Munich, Potsdam, Frankfurt, Sweden, Australia, and USA.
- FIFA Women's World Cup winner (2003 and 2007)
- UEFA Women's EURO winner (1997, 2001, 2005, 2009 and 2013)
- Olympic bronze medal winner (2000, 2004, 2008)
- FIFA Women's World Player of the Year (2013)
On her greatest achievement:
"There are so many. I couldn't just name one, but obviously winning the World Cup in 2003 and 2007 and also the European Championship in 2013 are up there. There are also smaller successes, like winning a first German league title with Turbine Potsdam. I'm also especially proud of the fact that I didn't concede a goal at the 2007 World Cup in China and that I saved Marta's penalty in the final against Brazil. That was important for me because it was my first major tournament, as the first-choice keeper. And you should never forget that football's a team sport. I know just how amazing that team was back then, it was really cool."
On her most emotional game:
"Before the World Cup in 2007, I'd gone and opened my big mouth by saying I wanted to be the No1, and suddenly the time arrived when I needed to prove I was up to it. For that reason, every single game in China was very emotional for me, right from the very first minute. I'd put unbelievable pressure on myself, which is why I also say that sometimes, I was my own greatest opponent. However, who knows where I'd have ended up, if I hadn't done things like that."
On her fondness for headgear:
"I always have to wear a cap, or a hat. The funny thing is, I'd been doing it for years, but after the World Cup in 2007, suddenly everyone was saying: 'hey, she always wears a cap'. It's not something I do to draw attention to myself. It's just that I'm way too lazy to do my hair every morning. That's all there is to it."