Watch a football match on television or visit any youth, semi-professional, or five-a-side game, and you will see goalkeepers wearing gloves. The use of goalkeeper gloves makes complete sense as it allows players to protect their hands when a thunderous shot is sent their way. Gloves also enable a goalie to catch a ball more easily thanks to the grip provided from the handwear. Modern gloves also have rubber and plastic protection points on the top of the hands, fingers, and knuckles, preventing injury.
Despite goalkeeper gloves being ubiquitous in the game, they weren’t always a common sight. Just a few decades ago, goalkeepers played barehanded and gloves were not a part of their everyday equipment.
Goalkeeper gloves: Amadeo Carrizo
Argentine goalkeeper Amadeo Carrizo was the first player to wear gloves. Carrizo played for Argentina’s River Plate between 1945 and 1968. After finishing his time with River Plate, Carrizo moved to Alianza Lima and Millionarios before retiring in 1970. During his unbelievable 25-year career, Carrizo saw a number of innovations in football as well as in life.
According to reports, Carrizo wasn’t the only goalkeeper to wear gloves, but he was also the first to leave the penalty area. In modern football, the sweeper-keeper is relatively common. Yet, Carrizo was the first to ever emerge from the 18-yard box to clear the ball or pass to a teammate.
Carrizo redefined goalkeeping and changed it forever.
Goalkeeper gloves: A necessity
According to the Guardian, goalkeeper gloves didn’t become a necessity for players until around 1990. Many old-time goalkeepers believe gloves are relied upon too much by goalies and the art of the position does not exist any longer. However, the position has evolved and goalkeeper play today is far different due to player ability and the balls used in games.
The first known manufacturing of goalkeeper gloves occurred in 1885. Sixty-three years later, Carrizo began wearing gloves for matches. By the 1960s, the trend of goalie gloves was more commonplace and even England’s Gordon Banks wore them as the Three Lions lifted the World Cup trophy in 1966.
As the 1980s got underway, goalkeeper gloves became far more popular and football manufacturers focused on building better items for the No. 1. By the end of the decade, goalkeeper gloves became mandatory for players in the position.
Today, there are hundreds of goalkeeper gloves on the market. It is a piece of football equipment that players must have if they dream of being a No. 1. Although they are a necessity now, just a few short decades ago, they were an item many goalkeepers chose not to wear.