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The best Middlesbrough XI since the Millennium – Goalkeepers

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Middlesbrough have endured more than their fair share of ups and downs since the turn of the millennium.

After spending much of the nineties between the top two tiers of English football, the Teessiders enjoyed a sustained period of success in the 00s as they moved away from being relegation strugglers to a side within 90 minutes of a major European title.

Steve McClaren oversaw the bulk of that revolution as he built a side with some of Europe’s highest profile names, changing the brand of football on offer at the Riverside Stadium to one which was the envy of many top flight clubs up and down the country.

A first major trophy came Middlesbrough’s way in 2004, before two successive seasons in the UEFA Cup which brought plenty of wonderful memories for supporters as they reached the final in 2006.

But for every up there’s a down as the club suffered relegation to the Championship in 2009 – something which took seven years to address as they made their return to the top flight under Aitor Karanka.

That return, however, was short-lived as they suffered relegation that same season as they find themselves once again in the process of rebuilding for their next journey to the top flight.

There’s been plenty of top players at the club during those 20 years, and in a new series we take a look at the best Middlesbrough XI to turn out since the turn of the Millennium.

This edition features the men between the sticks as we look at the FOUR contenders to make it into our side.

Can you name where these 15 Middlesbrough players started their career?

1 of 15

Where did Tomas Mejias start his playing career?

Mark Schwarzer

How could he not be a contender?

The Australian joined the club in 1997 from Bradford City and enjoyed 21 years at the Riverside Stadium before moving on for a new adventure with Fulham.

Promotions, relegations, major trophies, last-minute penalty saves and cup final heartache, Schwarzer went through it all during his time with the club and so it’s only right that he’s a contender for a spot in our side.

Dimi Konstantopoulos

The greatest third choice goalkeeper that Middlesbrough have ever had.

After joining from Hartlepool United in 2013 few would have imagined the role that the Greek stopper would play in helping the club back to their former glory.

A key player under Aitor Karanka, Dimi possessed one of the best defensive records in English football as he helped Middlesbrough to promotion in 2016 – an achievement which will always make him a favourite around Teesside.

Victor Valdes

Perhaps not the longest-serving goalkeeper in Middlesbrough history, but certainly the most decorated.

Few could believe their eyes with Aitor Karanka brought the Barcelona legend to the Riverside Stadium after being promoted to the Premier League.

While that season in the top flight didn’t quite go to plan, the Champions League and World Cup winner has to be one of the best goalkeepers play for the Teessiders.

Darren Randolph

Middlesbrough needed an experienced hand to help them after being relegated to the Championship in 2017, and Darren Randolph was certainly the man.

The Republic Of Ireland international was regarded as the best goalkeeper outside of the top flight during his time at the Riverside, as he played a key role in the club’s journey to the play-offs in 2017.

Now with West Ham United, Randolph may have left under a cloud but his quality in a Boro jersey can’t be underestimated.

Who would you vote for as Middlesbrough’s best goalkeeper of the Millennium?

Who is Middlesbrough's best goalkeeper of the Millennium?

Mark Schwarzer

Mark Schwarzer

Dimi Konstantopoulos

Dimi Konstantopoulos

Victor Valdes

Victor Valdes

Darren Randolph

Darren Randolph

North East-based EFL writer and aspiring author

ScoopDragon Football News Network

Article title: The best Middlesbrough XI since the Millennium – Goalkeepers

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