Goalkeepers are stuck at the end of the pitch, easy to humiliate and under pressure to save the day.
The football journalist Jonathan Wilson has written about the role of goalie in The Outsider: A History of the Goalkeeper.
Speaking to the Today programme, he said: "In a team sport, he is the individual. It takes a special, unique type of personality to wish to put themselves in that position.
First broadcast on BBC Radio 4's Today Programme on Monday 14 January 2012.