Why Jordan Pickford has not won the World Cup Golden Glove, despite having joint most clean sheets at Qatar 2022

Jordan Pickford has finished the Qatar 2022 World Cup joint top of the clean sheet standings, but was denied the Golden Glove award with Emiliano Martinez winning it outright instead.

The England goalkeeper conceded in just two of his five matches at the tournament, keeping three clean sheets along the way.


Pickford kept clean sheets against USA, Wales and Senegal

As a result, he ended up joint top of the standings on three clean sheets with Morocco’s Yassine Bounou and Argentina’s Martinez.

It is also worth noting that Pickford has played one game fewer than Bounou and two fewer than Martinez due to England’s elimination at the quarter-final stage.

If Martinez had kept a clean sheet against France in the final, he would have had four in total and so been undisputed Golden Glove winner.

However, the World Cup Golden Glove is not decided simply by which goalkeeper keeps the most clean sheets.

If this were the Premier League, Pickford, Martinez and Bounou would share the award as they are joint top of the clean sheet standings.

However, at the World Cup it’s FIFA’s Technical Study Group who make an assessment of which goalkeeper has performed the best in the tournament and award the Golden Glove based on this assessment.

The Golden Glove award is not decided simply by who has the most clean sheets


The Golden Glove award is not decided simply by who has the most clean sheets

FIFA’s Technical Study Group also chooses who wins the Golden Ball award for the best player in the competition.

Therefore Pickford has not claimed the Golden Glove, despite being joint top of the standings and having played fewer matches than his rivals.

FIFA’s Technical Study Group instead favored Martinez due to his final heroics.

This is the second time that Pickford has missed out on a Golden Glove as he also had the most clean sheets at Euro 2020, but UEFA have simply never given out a Golden Glove award for the Euros.

Martinez won the award


Martinez won the award

This time, Pickford was denied by FIFA’s Technical Study Group.

The group was led by former Arsenal manager – now FIFA’s Chief of Global Football Development – Arsene Wenger.

Working alongside Wenger in the group were Germany legend Jurgen Klinsmann, Italian ex-manager Alberto Zaccheroni, former South Korea defender Cha Du-Ri, Nigeria icon Sunday Oliseh, Colombian former goalkeeper Faryd Mondragon and ex-Switzerland goalkeeper Pascal Zuberbuhler.

The Technical Study Group was supported by FIFA’s Head of High Performance Program Ulf Schott and Group Leader Football Performance Analysis amd Insights Chris Loxston.

They were also supported by a team of football analysts, data engineers, data scientists and performance analysts based in both Qatar and Wales.


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