We would be lying through our teeth if we said that large-scale botches/fails don’t make us laugh like madmen. While we feel sorry for the ones whose expense we laugh at, the hilarity triggered by such situations knows no bounds.
When it comes to football, the role of a goalkeeper is a hot topic. It’s said that no matter how hard a goalkeeper works to prevent his/her team from eating any goals, they are only remembered for the mistakes they make during the games. And some of these mistakes are so funny that we end up feeling second-hand embarrassment.
In this Plush Fluffy article, let’s list down 10 of the funniest goalkeeper mistakes in football.
1. Wojciech Szczęsny – Arsenal vs Birmingham, League Cup Final 2011
Who would have thought that a slight error in judgment on part of Szczesny would make him land on this list? But yet, here he is. Representing Arsenal in the League Cup Final 2011, Szczesny aimed to run towards the ball to secure it at a critical time. However, an aerial kick by Laurent Koscielny prompted the ball to bounce off the polish footballer and land in the vicinity of Obafemi Martins, who would score a devastating goal with no one guarding the net.
2. Rob Green – England vs USA, World Cup 2010
The moment Rob Green was announced as the goalkeeper for England despite an in-prime Joe Hart being available, we all knew that England had no chance of winning the big one.
But little did we know that England’s disastrous run would begin right from the opening game. However, this is exactly what happened. Green’s failed attempt at blocking Clint Dempsey’s shot from a distance of 25 yards was pretty painful to watch live.
3. Peter Enckelman – Birmingham vs Aston Villa, Premier League 2002
While not saving an easy goal is embarrassing in its own right, what’s equally funny is a goalkeeper scoring an own-goal. And this is exactly what Peter Enckelman (Aston Villa goalkeeper) did.
During the aforementioned game, when Enckelman tried to smoothly kick the ball away from his vicinity, the rolling ball missed Enckelman’s boot and hit the nets. Ouch!
4. Jordan Pickford – Liverpool vs Everton, Premier League 2018
To some extent, mistakes can be forgiven. But when a goalkeeper costs their team a match against their archrivals, that’s when the mistake becomes evergreen. Jordan Pickford found that out the hard way.
Towards the closing moments of the match in question, the ball was in Pickford’s court (literally) at one point but instead of successfully kicking it far from the opponent’s reach, Pickford ended up passing the ball to Divock Origi, resulting in Everton eating an embarrassing goal.
5. David Seaman – Arsenal vs. Real Zaragoza, 1995 Cup Winners’ Cup Final
When the opposition knows that the goalkeeper would mess things up eventually, that’s when the game becomes more exciting. When it started to look like the Arsenal vs. Real Zaragoza game would warrant extra time, that’s when Nayim scored an impressive goal from the halfway line. Seaman knowing that the goal was coming and still failing to block it wasn’t the most pleasant thing to look at but it did get a kick out of us.
6. Petr Cech – Czech Republic vs. Turkey, Euro 2008
If you haven’t watched Cech’s performance in the aforementioned game yet, Plush Fluffy recommends you to take out some time and do watch it in all its glory. The highlight of the game came when Cech’s baffling action of dropping a cross at Nihat’s feet became the reason behind the Czech Republic losing their lead against Turkey.
While Cech has had amazing performances since, it feels as if the game against Turkey in 2008 still haunts him.
7. Pat Bonner – Ireland vs. Netherlands, 1994 World Cup
You know the pressure is on when your opponent has a lead in a world cup game. But what makes things worse is if a mistake by your goalkeeper causes the lead to extend. During the game in question, Pat Bonner was ready to block Wim Jonk’s standard shot. However, the ball, upon coming into contact with Bonner’s hands, bounced off right into the nets. THIS could have been avoided.
8. Nery Pumpido – Argentina vs. Cameroon, 1990 World Cup
While it’s impossible to stop all the goals headed your way, not blocking the weak ones raises a lot of questions. And Pumpido’s failed attempt at preventing a lackluster header squirt by Francois Omam-Biyik was weird enough to become an internet meme, had the game taken place in recent times.
9. Rene Higuita – Colombia vs. Cameroon, 1990 World Cup
Playing for yourself instead of your team could result in awkward situations and Rene Higuita found this out the hard way. As an energetic goalkeeper for Colombia, Higuita made his way to the halfway line at one point during the aforementioned game and this gave Roger Milla a chance to score an easy goal.
10. Willy Caballero: Argentina vs. Croatia, 2018 World Cup
One of the most jaw-dropping moments from the 2018 World Cup came when Caballero’s failed attempt at passing the ball to one of his teammates led the rolling piece straight towards an aggressive Ante Rebic, who would take advantage of the opportunity to score an impactful goal.