Bruce Grobbelaar is one of Zimbabwe’s finest footballers and Liverpool’s greatest goalkeepers. A legendary number one who hoovered up trophies and terrified defenders, he was one of the top players in his position throughout the 1980s.But could Grobbelaar succeed in the modern game and would he do so for Liverpool?
We answer that question. All you need to do is read our article to find out if Grobbelaar would make the cut at the top level today.
A brief history of Zimbabwean goalkeeper Bruce Grobbelaar
Most modern goalkeepers follow broadly the same introductory path in football. These players enter an academy before they reach their teens, work their way up the ranks, then earn their stripes with a loan move before getting the chance to play for their senior side.Bruce Grobbelaar isn’t a modern goalkeeper and his path into football is an unusual one for any era of football.Grobbelaar was a promising teen athlete. He was a gifted cricketer and was offered a scholarship to play baseball in the US. Nothing too out of the ordinary.
His formal years broke completely with convention in 1975. Despite making 13 appearances for Chibuku Shumba that year, he was conscripted into the Rhodesian Army and thrown into Zimbabwe’s war of independence.
It was two years before Grobbelaar played another football game. However, just two years on from that game, he was playing on loan in England for fourth division Crewe Alexandra. His performances were good enough that he signed for Liverpool in 1981, the same year that the team’s legendary goalkeeper Ray Clemence departed.Grobbelaar soon forged his own legend.
What type of goalkeeper was Liverpool legend Grobbelaar?
Where his predecessor was sedate, secure, and simple in his play, Grobbelaar was everything Clemence wasn’t. He was brash, bizarre, and bolshy.Grobbelaar was a keeper with a magnetic pull for TV cameras. Possessed with extraordinary agility, he was capable of saves that rivals would barley capable of sketching out in their minds, let alone delivering on the pitch.He was also remarkably proactive, taking it upon him to engage himself in play when he saw fit and pre-empting the development of modern goalkeeping in doing so.
And Grobbelaar was good at what he did. By the end of his Liverpool career, his trophy cabinet swelled with six league titles, three FA Cup, a European Cup, and plenty of other medals.But he was never far from controversy.
Many sports fans enjoy a bet, checking the odds in resources like this GentingBet Casino review before heading to the aforementioned GentingBet Casino to cast a bet on their picks. However, Grobbelaar took his interest in betting too far and was accused in 1994 of fixing his own matches as part of a betting syndicate.
While he was cleared of the charges, he was forced to pay opposition legal costs in a parallel libel case.
Grobbelaar would be the perfect goalkeeper for…
Brash, bizarre, and bolshy, these are qualities that some fans and commentators might associate with Jürgen Klopp but they aren’t characteristics Klopp looks for in his players – note the distinct absence of any of these in his current number one, Alisson Becker.So, despite his legendary status at the club, Grobbelaar wouldn’t be perfect for Liverpool.
But there is a team that he’d make an ideal custodian for in the modern game. A club that’s a synonym for success, self-confidence, and stridence. It’s Bayern Munich, of course.We’re willing to bet money that Bruce Grobbelaar would play for Bayern in the modern game because he has all the characteristics you associate with the club’s name.
The only question is whether his playing style would suit top-level competition today.It’s always going to be speculative when transferring a player from own era to another, but peak Grobbelaar had all the qualities modern sides now look for in their keepers.He could use his feet to launch quick attacks, he played in systems that relied on quick transitions, and he was willing to try the unconventional if it gave him even a 1% advantage over his opponent.
There’s no doubt Grobbelaar would be a top keeper in the modern game and that Bayern Munich would be the perfect team for him to showcase his skills.
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Bruce Grobbelaar is a Liverpool and Zimbabwe legend of the 1980s. Could he achieve the same status if his peak years came in the modern game? It’s impossible to tell.
What we can do is speculate and cast bets on the thoughts we’re most convinced by.
We’re convinced that Grobbelaar would succeed in the modern game and that he’d do so for the mighty Bayern Munich.
Check out some videos of his highlights now and decide for yourself who he’d play for in the modern game.
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