Jan Oblak – non-cape superman at Atletico Madrid
With previous class performances Juventus, Jan Oblak continues to prove that he is the current top goalkeeper in the world, though not much on international newspapers.
Juventus left Madrid with empty hands. Cristiano Ronaldo has a brilliant free-kick, but Oblak kicks the ball out of the crossbar. Statistics show that the visitors have a total of 14 shots on Atletico goal. But Oblak’s net is still intact.
- Manchester City won by two goals in the last five minutes
- Atletico pushed Juventus into the door of death in the Champions League
Statistics also show that Oblak lost only one goal in four home games in the Champions League this season. Since playing the first Champions League in September 2014, Oblak has had 22 clean sheets. No one did better than him during the same period, including those of Gianluigi Buffon (20 matches), Manuel Neuer (17 matches) or Keylor Navas (15 matches).
In La Liga, Oblak is the owner of the Zamora tournament for the last three consecutive seasons (Zamora is the best goalkeeper goal of the season, based on the goals scored on the number of matches). These statistics all prove one thing: Oblak is the best and most stable goalkeeper in the world today.
Yet, it seems that people rarely mention him.
There are several reasons to explain. The first is because you … are so good. In situations where the goalkeepers often have to punch away or push off the crossbar, Oblak still … captures stick. That is, rather than constantly having to fly all the way to the other side, to stop the kicks, Oblak prevents those dangers with just one catch. Choosing good positions is a prominent quality of Oblak.
The good position, defined by Oblak as a child, is behind the goal. He followed his father to everywhere in Slovenia, nervously looking at him in his wooden frame. Matjaz Oblak, Jan’s father, then only played for a club in Slovenia’s Third Division. At the age of 10, Jan left Skofja Loka’s countryside to train in the capital Ljubljana. Every day he rode his bike for nearly 60 km to go and return. He played in the First Division in 16 and only took a year to be recruited by Benfica. He played the first Champions League final in 21 and now, at the age of 26, is considered the world’s number one goalkeeper.
Apart from the above-mentioned shooting ability, Oblak is rarely mentioned because he is a person who enjoys peace. He did not play social networks, was lazy to interview, had no roar when playing and did not have any violent action on the field. Oblak looks like an ordinary officer, doing daily work in a position where most of his colleagues show up.
Oblak only lively when the ball enters the penalty area. At that time he looked like a cat, concentrating maximum on his favorite toy, not letting any static slide out of his view. Khen Oblak chose a good position does not mean his reflexes are mediocre. On the contrary, when he needed to fly, he was no different from David de Gea.
De Gea is the one who started … Atletico’s goalkeeper training tradition. After De Gea, Atletico has Thibaut Courtois. After Courtois it’s Oblak’s turn. Coach Diego Simeone has a particularly outstanding team in identifying and training goalkeepers. Oblak has no media appeal like De Gea or Courtois, but talent is not inferior. When Oblak celebrated 100 matches in La Liga, it was startling to realize that he reached that number in just 178 games. That is a record! In the past, Victor Valdes lost 217 matches to achieve similar achievements. This number of Iker Casillas is 306.
But at one point, Oblak was considered a contract, when Atletico spent 12 million euros to buy him from Benfica, to replace Courtois. Right in their debut, Oblak received 3 shots on target and … conceded all 3.
“That’s how the goalie is,” Oblak briefly commented a few years later, remembering the unforgettable start at Atletico. But the end of his first season in Madrid, Oblak also had 11 blank matches. This number for his next three seasons is 32, 21 and 29. Since joining Atletico, Oblak’s net white rate is 56.2%. Yet during that time, few people put Oblak in the Top 3 best goalkeepers in the world.
Upon receiving the Zamora, Oblak also modestly said, “This is not my personal title, but everyone’s.” Indeed. Atletico has a defensive play style. And the front of him is the excellent center-back Diego Godin – Jose Gimenez has helped a lot. But those who follow Atletico long enough have also seen: this team plays more season after season than last season. Gabi – the captain and the best interceptor – was no longer standing in front of the defense. Simeone spent more and more money on public goods. He brought back Fernando Torres, Diego Costa and recently recruited Alvaro Morata. But Atletico is still a difficult team to defeat, since Oblak is consistently excellent in goal.
“We are all unfair to Oblak,” said former Atletico player Milinko Pantic. “He does everything quietly and never complains.”
It seems that Oblak did not attend the World Cup is another reason. He never talked about salary or compensation. In the transfer commentary, Oblak never contributed. It was a great thing to be at the top with him. In this season’s matches, Atletico fans always sing “Obi, Oblak, cada daa te quiero mas!” (Obi, every day I love him more). How can you not love it!
“I worked with De Gea and Courtois, but Oblak was the best in the world. He always appeared in key moments,” Juanfran said. Fernando Torres commented: “I have never seen a special goalkeeper like Oblak”.
“His role is as important as Griezmann’s,” Gabi said.
Even Real Betis Joel said: “No one earns more points for the team than he does.”
Atletico’s former Abel Resino goalkeeper, who holds a record of 1,320 minutes without conceding at the club, stressed: “Oblak defeats all danger with a goal-kick. He rarely gives the opponent a second chance. to kick off “.
Diego Simeone is at Atletico until the 8th year. The defense has not been as stable as when he first arrived, the midfield is no longer fighting as crazy as a warrior, but Atletico is still an extremely annoying opponent because still have Oblak in goal.
A cape superhero, but always ready to … fly when needed.