Ederson well on way to joining Manchester City's list of goalkeeping greats

Ederson well on way to joining Manchester City's list of goalkeeping greats
© Alex Livesey Ederson joined Manchester City from Portuguese side Benfica in 2017. Getty

It is universally accepted in football that goalkeepers are a different breed, but even among the stoppers’ union members, Ederson Santana de Moraes is a little special.

Manchester City’s last line of defence is as good with his feet as he is with his hands and is well on his way to legendary status at a club that delights in the longevity and hero status of No 1s (or 31 in the Brazilian’s case).

There is a running joke at the Etihad Stadium that Ederson could slot seamlessly into the midfield of Pep Guardiola’s reigning Premier League champion and there is an unspoken acceptance, too, that he will one day attempt a ‘Cruyff Turn’ in his own penalty area with unknown consequences.

Ederson well on way to joining Manchester City's list of goalkeeping greats
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Ederson is unique. He currently has a pass success rating of 89 per cent that puts some bona fide outfield Premier League players in the shade. He owns a sledgehammer of a left foot that can, with a flick, send the ball from one six-yard box to the other but he also possesses the silky touch that starts many key attacks for City.

The Brazil international is also pretty adept at keeping the ball out of his own net and is currently perched on 99 clean sheets in all competitions for City at a rate of almost one every two games.

The 28-year-old has been at City for four seasons, following a move from Benfica, and still has five more left on a contract that was renewed this year.

If all goes well, he will eventually join a long list of City goalkeepers who became fixtures at the club, remained more than a decade and inked themselves into the folklore of the club.

Ederson has some way to go to catch England international Joe Corrigan — who spent 16 years between the posts for City and amassed 602 appearances — or Bert Trautmann, a stalwart of 15 years and 545 games.

He is, however, closing in on two other legendary City keepers; Frank ‘Frying Pan Hands’ Swift who played 338 times in 16 years and recent hero Joe Hart, who spent a dozen seasons with City and clocked-up almost 350 starts.

Ederson has already won two Golden Glove awards for the goalkeeper who keeps the most clean sheets in a Premier League season and can point to his part in three league titles. He tends to stand aside in the domestic cup games but still can still boast an FA Cup winners medal and four League Cups.

All that from a goalkeeper who started life back in Brazil as a left back but, by his own admission, was too lazy to play outfield. One of his early coaches laughed that Ederson was more than promising attacking but often needed a taxi to get back into defensive position.

Manchester City 2 PSG 1: player ratings

Ederson well on way to joining Manchester City's list of goalkeeping greats
Ederson well on way to joining Manchester City's list of goalkeeping greats
Ederson well on way to joining Manchester City's list of goalkeeping greats
Ederson well on way to joining Manchester City's list of goalkeeping greats
Ederson well on way to joining Manchester City's list of goalkeeping greats
Ederson well on way to joining Manchester City's list of goalkeeping greats
Ederson well on way to joining Manchester City's list of goalkeeping greats
Ederson well on way to joining Manchester City's list of goalkeeping greats
Ederson well on way to joining Manchester City's list of goalkeeping greats
Ederson well on way to joining Manchester City's list of goalkeeping greats
Ederson well on way to joining Manchester City's list of goalkeeping greats
Ederson well on way to joining Manchester City's list of goalkeeping greats
Ederson well on way to joining Manchester City's list of goalkeeping greats
Ederson well on way to joining Manchester City's list of goalkeeping greats
Ederson well on way to joining Manchester City's list of goalkeeping greats
Ederson well on way to joining Manchester City's list of goalkeeping greats
Ederson well on way to joining Manchester City's list of goalkeeping greats
Ederson well on way to joining Manchester City's list of goalkeeping greats
Ederson well on way to joining Manchester City's list of goalkeeping greats
Ederson well on way to joining Manchester City's list of goalkeeping greats
Ederson well on way to joining Manchester City's list of goalkeeping greats
Ederson well on way to joining Manchester City's list of goalkeeping greats
Ederson well on way to joining Manchester City's list of goalkeeping greats
Ederson well on way to joining Manchester City's list of goalkeeping greats
Ederson well on way to joining Manchester City's list of goalkeeping greats
Ederson well on way to joining Manchester City's list of goalkeeping greats
Ederson – 6, Will have been surprised by how little he had to do in the first half but had the ball put through his legs within minutes of the second. Stayed alert until the end despite having further periods without seeing much of the ball. AFP Kyle Walker – 8, Authoritative on and off the ball, making a great recovery run to put Kylian Mbappe under pressure for his shot in the first half. Unlucky to see his deflection from Messi’s cross go straight to Mbappe for the opener but did brilliantly to make the run at the other end and create City’s equaliser. Reuters John Stones – 7, Lost the ball in a dangerous area but got away with it and often looked in control. EPA Ruben Dias – 8, Did a good job of nullifying PSG’s threat with great awareness to cut out potentially dangers. Had an ambitious shot blocked. AP Joao Cancelo – 7, Made some important defensive interventions and was a real threat going forward, delivering a great ball for Gundogan’s chance. Booked for a lunge on Messi. EPA Ilkay Gundogan – 7, Showed so much intelligence in his runs and passing, but should have scored when the ball came to him in the box. Showed good composure to pass the ball back to Mahrez for the winner. PA Rodri – 8, Did a brilliant job of breaking up PSG’s attacking play and moved the ball well in the first half. Was unlucky to see his header denied by Kimpembe but then played a lovely pass to Walker for the equaliser.. Booked for a foul on Leandro Paredes. AP Oleksandr Zinchenko – 6, Moved the ball and pressed well, but took too long when a chance came to break after Ander Herrera surrendered possession. Getty Riyad Mahrez – 8, Created a threat almost every time he had the ball. Delivered wonderful crosses, with one of those creating the chance for the winner, and had a nice shot touched away by Keylor Navas. Getty Bernardo Silva – 8, Was a delight to watch, making intelligent runs and passes with one going to Mahrez in the box when things were tight. Provided a beautiful touch to assist Gabriel Jesus for the winner. PA Raheem Sterling – 8, Constantly tested Achraf Hakimi and played a nice pullback for Zinchenko’s blocked shot. Showed persistence and had his big moment when he snuck the ball inside the post to equalise. AP SUBS: Gabriel Jesus (Zinchenko, 54’) – 8, Made a mess of his attempted shot but luckily saw it fall to Sterling, then made no mistake with his finish to score the winner. Battled well, even when outnumbered and picked up a late booking. EPA PARIS SAINT-GERMAIN RATINGS: Keylor Navas – 7, Had some shaky moments with his feet but made good stops to deny City – especially Mahrez. There was little he could do for either goal. Getty Achraf Hakimi – 7, Made a brilliant headed clearance to deny Mahrez and largely defended well throughout. Also made some threatening forays up the pitch. EPA Marquinhos – 7, Showed plenty of resilience and awareness in his defending, being unlucky to be on a team that conceded twice. AP Presnel Kimpembe – 8, Had a couple of awkward moments on the ball but his defending was brilliant. The France international made a superb clearance off the line to deny Rodri and made various other important interventions, including a block on Zinchenko’s shot. Getty Nuno Mendes – 6, Had a sloppy start and got away with an unconvincing clearance that fell to Gundogan’s feet. He did get forward well in the build-up to the opener. EPA Leandro Paredes – 6, Helped Kimpembe in a potentially awkward situation and did the basics well throughout. Bought some fouls in tricky situations. EPA Ander Herrera – 7, Got away with conceding possession in a dangerous area but helped beat the press well at times and worked hard. Nice linkup play for the opener. Getty Idrissa Gueye – 8, Showed composure in the midfield and worked hard to help out the defence when possible. Driving Mahrez back was an example of how authoritative he was defensively. AFP Lionel Messi – 7, Had some moments that were pleasing on the eye and brought the productivity to set up Mbappe for the opener. However, he struggled to make an impact when dropping deep. EPA Kylian Mbappe – 7, Had a quiet first half and the forward’s effort was poor when he was played through before the break. However, he opened the scoring by putting the ball through Ederson’s legs. EPA Neymar – 7, Had a couple of eye-catching moments despite not seeing a lot of the ball and slipped Mbappe through well for his wasted chance. He then did well in the build-up to the opener but put the ball wide himself after doing brilliantly to find the opening. EPA SUBS: Danilo Pereira (Herrera, 60’) – 6, Did well to take the ball away from Stones on the edge of his box but struggled to really get a hold on the game. AP Angel Di Maria (Gueye, 67’) – 6, Provided a brilliant touch to help create the chance for Neymar, then sent a horrible shot high and wide. Reuters Thilo Kehrer (Mendes, 67’) – 5, Struggled to stop City getting balls into the box from his side, which eventually resulted in a winner for the hosts. EPA

That has all changed now with Ederson’s style and skill catching the eye of Pep Guardiola and Director of Football Txiki Begiristain who brought him to Manchester from Portugal for a fee of £35 million. It’s a move that has barely endured a hitch.

“My first day at City Pep explained why he had signed me and told me what I could add to the team and it was all very relaxed,” Ederson told the club’s website, who have just released a three-part documentary on his early life.

“Pep plays a certain style of game and when I arrived I already had this style under way, so it was much easier for me to adapt.

“I just play naturally. The way our style is, there is a lot of concentration needed. The goalkeeper is key in our team because we can’t make any mistakes in the build-up. But my teammates offer me a lot of options for the pass, so I’m very relaxed.

“I still feel that I can improve more and that tomorrow will be better than today.”

Guardiola and Begiristain, meanwhile, have no doubt in the quality of their last line of defence. “Ederson is one of the best in the world,” said the Spaniard. “He is perfectly suited to our philosophy at City and is fundamental to our style.

“He has added a new dimension to our game and revolutionised goalkeeping in the Premier League in the process. We knew he was good when we signed him but he’s even better than we thought.”

It is a view echoed by the manager. “He suits our way of playing perfectly,” said Guardiola. “The impact he has on the team is massive. His composure and the way he faces the good and bad moments is remarkable and he has an incredible work ethic.”

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