What is a Clean Sheet in Soccer?

Last updated on November 20th, 2023 at 02:19 pm

A clean sheet means that one team did not score any goals against the goalie. Back in the early days of soccer, scores were put down on a piece of paper to keep track of the game. If one team were unable to score, their sheet of paper would be blank.


These pieces of paper would record all sorts of information about the game. Records like penalties, fouls, shots against the goalkeeper, and team scores would all go down on the paper. When one team wouldn’t have any information about their scores, they had a clean sheet.


A Quick Video Breakdown


In this video above, I give a quick recap as to what a clean sheet is in soccer. Essentially, this is an achievement for both the goalie and the defense for now allowing any goals during a match. In fact, if a game goes to a penalty shootout at 0-0, both goalies record a clean sheet regardless of the number of goals they allow.

Can Both Teams Record a Clean Sheet During the Same Game?

can both teams record a clean sheet during the same game

A regular-season soccer game can end in a tie, which means both teams record a clean sheet since there were zero goals. However, during a knockout competition match, the game will have overtime or have penalty kicks to decide a winner. For example, the World Cup will go into an overtime style of play since you can’t have the final match of the year-end with zero goals.


Why are Clean Sheets Important in Soccer?

why are clean sheets important in soccer

Clean sheets during a regular-season match guarantee your team gets at least one point for the playoff bracket standings. That means if both teams give up zero goals and end in a tie, they both get one point to their playoff bracket.


Clean sheets are also important because they can highlight some of the best goalkeepers in the league. While it takes a team effort to win a soccer match, the goalie is still the last line of defense to prevent scoring. While low-scoring games are standard, not allowing any goals is an accomplishment for the entire team and goalie.


What is the Golden Glove in Soccer?

what is the golden glove in soccer

A golden glove is an award for the best goalkeeper during the regular season. The award goes to the goalie who had the most clean sheets during the regular season. If two goalies or more had the same clean sheets at the end of the year, they all get the award.


Who Has the Most Number of Clean Sheets in the History of the Premier League?

Who Has the Most Number of Clean Sheets in the History of the Premier League

According to Sportzpoint.com, in 2021, Petr Čech has the most clean sheets with 202. Below are the top three players with the most clean sheets in soccer. Be sure to visit that link from Sportzpoint to get the entire list.


  • Petr Čech (202)
  • David James (169)
  • Mark Schwarzer (151)


Who Has the Most Clean Sheets as a Goalie in the MLS?

According to Transfermarkt.com, Nick Rimando has the most clean sheets in Major League Soccer, with 167. In second place is Kevin Hartman with 128, and in third place is Stephan Frei, who has 98. Check out the complete list of clean sheet soccer goalies from that site from Transfermarkt.com.


How Common are Clean Sheet Soccer Games?

Soccer America states that 30-40% of soccer games end in a tie. A tie doesn’t mean that neither team scored, but 0-0 games are also part of that mix. Understanding that there is a relatively high chance of having a clean sheet is essential for sports betting.


Sports Betting with a Clean Sheet Mindset

sports betting with a clean sheet mindset

There is something called a Win to Nil bet in FIFA soccer betting. A Win to Nil bet means you place two bets at once, which differs from just betting on who might win the game.


The first bet is on which team wins, while the second is on the team you think won’t score. Understanding how often games don’t occur scores, how good the goalkeeper is, and more can help you with this bet and have the best odds.


Conclusion: What is a Clean Sheet in Soccer?

In summary, a clean sheet in soccer means that one team kept the opposing team from scoring a goal. There are less than three goals per game in the English Premier League and MLS, which means there is a good chance one team might not score during a match. Understanding how good a team’s goalie is, how many goals one team scores on average, and what soccer players play that day can help with sports betting.


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