New Delhi: Indian Super League side Delhi Dynamos custodian Kristof Van Hout feels that goalkeeping has changed dramatically over the last 10 years, saying that his modern contemporaries employed different styles of their own.
"Goalkeepers from 10 years ago and today are markedly different. The evolution has been dramatic. Everyone now talks about guys like (Manuel) Neuer, (Iker) Casillas and (Thibaut) Courtois. It is difficult to compare them because these guys have different styles as compared to keepers who played when I was a kid," Van Hout said.
"Neuer is spectacular in a way because he rushes off his line so often to thwart an attack. The American goalie, Tim Howard, showed his quality in the World Cup. He does not come off his line like some European keepers do. He relies more on his reflexes and shot stopping ability. It's not bad, but they're two contrasting yet equally effective styles," said the Belgian shot stopper who stands at six feet 10 inches.
Van Hout currently is the leader in the race for Golden Glove award in ISL, having pulled off a whopping 27 saves and kept three clean sheets. He is impressed with the heroics of Indian goalkeepers like Subhasish Roy Chowdhury (Atletico de Kolkata) and T P Rehenesh (NorthEast United FC) but said that his team's reserve goalkeeper Jagroop Singh has huge promise.
"Jagroop has been fantastic in training. I can't really speak about the other guys much because I've watched just a couple of games. It's easier for me to talk about Jagroop since we work together every day. We have goalkeeper training for almost 45 minutes every day and I think he has already improved tremendously. He has learned a lot," the 27-year-old goalkeeper was quoted as saying by ISL official website.
He said sharing a dressing room with a legend like Alessandro Del Piero was a matter of joy and pride. "This guy has won everything you can win on a football pitch. I have a lot of respect for him. I know and he knows that he is now part of this team and we are very happy that he is with us. We try to do things as well as possible, much like he does, and we try to keep to that standard," he said.
With the ISL garnering huge local and international interest, he said the league will benefit Indian players.
"Yes, for sure, it's a huge event. There are a lot of people watching the games on TV and in the stadiums. There is a lot going on in the newspapers. People want to read about the sport. It's very important to do this and to improve Indian football," he said.