Soccer Clean Sheet

soccer clean sheet

In soccer, the term “clean sheet” is used to refer to what other sports call a shutout. Clean sheets is a statistic used to keep track of shutouts by goalkeepers, defenders, and teams over a season.

What Is a Clean Sheet?

A goalie or defender who is part of a team that holds their opponent to zero goals will get a clean sheet added to their stats. Neither the goalie nor the defenders can take all of the credit for the defensive performance, so clean sheets are awarded to all of them. Often, players can receive bonuses for the number of clean sheets earned.

Who Earns a Clean Sheet?

Clean sheets are earned by goalkeepers, defenders, and entire teams. Clean sheets are often thought of as a goalkeeper statistic, as it is used to determine golden glove award winners. However, defenders on teams allowing no goals also earn clean sheets. Clean sheets are kept track of as a team statistic as a way of measuring overall defensive excellence.

Clean Sheet Rules

  1. A team must allow no goals to be scored against them for a clean sheet to be awarded.
  2. Clean sheets are awarded to the goalkeeper and the defenders.
  3. A player must play at least 60 minutes of the match to earn a clean sheet.
  4. If a match ends in a draw, both teams and their respective defenders earn clean sheets.


Why do they call it a clean sheet?

In soccer, a game in which one team prevents the opponent from scoring is referred to as a clean sheet in reference to the way in which soccer scores used to be kept. Before modern digital scoring, soccer scores were written down on clean sheets of white paper, with the goals scored against a team marked on their sheet. Thus, if your team allowed no goals during a match, your sheet would be empty, or “clean.” 

Which goalkeeper has the most clean sheets of all time?

Italian goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon has the most clean sheets of all time. Across his long career, which has included playing for teams such as Parma, Juventus, and PSG, Buffon has managed over 501 clean sheets, which means that 44% of his total games have been clean sheets. Buffon is followed by Dutch goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar, who has earned 440 clean sheets.