When it comes to close encounters of the footballing kind, there is not much worse a feeling than a glaring in miss. Baring down on goal can be a daunting prospect for some players, whilst others seem to freeze with a matter of yards between themselves and the posts.
At the end of the day, it just goes to show that everyone is human. Whether it is a slip, stumble or a misfire, a miss can sometimes be as good as a mile. On the other hand, there is of course the humiliation from not only supporters but players, coaches and even teammates. Banter can of course play an important role in the dressing room, but some players have been haunted by some dreadful misses.
This includes the likes of former Arsenal player Kanu. The Nigerian international who at the time was playing for West Bromwich Albion was responsible for one of the all time misses. As he lurked at the back post for what was likely to be an easy tap in, Kanu managed to scoop the ball over the crossbar from no more than three yards out.
Meanwhile, one has to take into consideration the miss by Fernando Torres. In a crucial game at Old Trafford which saw Torres’ Chelsea take on Manchester United the current Atletico Madrid player did all the hard. Having managed to round goalkeeper David de Gea and with the goal gaping, Torres put his shot wide. This was in spite of the fact that he was staring at an empty goal, whilst Chelsea went on to lose the game. With an unsuccessful spell at Stamford Bridge, Torres was moved on to AC Milan and now finds himself on loan again in Spain.
Some misses that stand out amongst fans also include penalty misses, such as Roberto Baggio’s in 1994 or Asamoah Gyan’s in 2010, or John Terry in 2008. However that’s not what this list will be about, as we’re going to be focusing more on in-game misses. There’s an element of nerves that go into missing a penalty and a question of luck, i.e. which way the goalkeeper dives to make the save.
With all that said, let’s take a look: what are some of the greatest misses of all time?
10. Jakub Blaszczykowski
Following the departure of Jurgen Klopp from Borussia Dortmund this month, he may have timed his exit to perfection. This is especially the case in this particular scenario from a game between Dortmund and Freiburg in the Bundesliga. It really does beggar belief but this howler features Jakub Blaszczykowski who after the goalkeeper advances is left with nothing but the net. However, inexplicably the player manages to miss in style and passes the ball over the bar. The expression, “he couldn’t hit the broad side of a barn” is usually an exaggeration, but not if used in this case.
9. Fahad Khalfan
This game involves Fahad Khalfan of Qatar who is playing a match against Uzbekistan. After the ball is passed back to the goalkeeper what unfolds is once again hard to fathom. As soon as the ball comes back to the goalie, for some reason he decides to jump over it. This bizarre twist of footballing fate should work to striker’s advantage who runs it along the penalty area and directly in front of the goal. No more than a yard out Khalfan used the outside of his left foot in order to strike the ball which hits the post and runs to safety.
8. Rocky Baptiste
He may have a glamorous Hollywood name, but this has not stopped Rocky Baptiste from sneaking into the top 10. The scene was set for a miss of epic proportions which featured lower sides Harrow Borough and Waltham Abbey. It was certainly not a battle for the Champions League spots but Baptiste wrote his own script during the game. With only the keeper to beat, Baptiste manages to beat the keeper and literally walk it to the goal line. However, in a bizarre split second moment, he lashes the ball wide.
7. Ryan Giggs
Even the most decorated footballer in British history is prone to the odd blunder or two. This is precisely what happened to former Red legend Ryan Giggs. The ex Manchester United player had probably wished the Old Trafford would have swallowed him up on this occasion. The game was between Manchester United and Arsenal and was arguably one of Giggsy’s biggest blunders of all time. After a long ball from downfield, Gunners keeper David Seaman advances out of his area. Giggs pounces to steal the ball, whilst beating another opponent and is left with an empty goal around eighteen yards out. Unfortunately, with his weaker foot, he manages to blast it over the bar.
6. Diego Forlan
Another ex United player makes his way into the list and this time it is Diego Forlan. It’s astounding that the winner of a Golden Ball at a World Cup could find his way on this list, but surely enough, here he is. The former Uruguayan international did not have the best of careers in England for United but nonetheless he had an impressive career firing in goals for several other clubs. This included Villareal as well as Athletico Madrid. Yet, when on a pre season tour for the Red Devils, disaster struck for Forlan.
In a game which featured Manchester United and Juventus, Forlan had the opportunity to get on the scoresheet with a simple strike. After a mistake by the Juventus keeper, Forlan avoids a challenge by a defender and is left with an empty goal. He is in line with the left post and unfortunately he manages to put it wide. It is little wonder that he only scored 17 goals in around 100 games.
Another great highlight here is the announcer shaming him. Sometimes announcers are too soft on players when they make a mistake, but this fellow understood that a miss like this deserved some harsh words.
Considered to be one of the greatest misses to take place at a World Cup, former Everton player Yakubu wished the cameras had been switched off. This specific incident takes place at the FIFA 2010 World Cup and was crucial to Nigeria progressing against South Korea. The term “my grandma could have scored” could have been coined for this moment as when a cross comes in from the left flank, Yakubu is faced with an open goal from six yards out. It would have been more difficult to miss and this is what transpires as he puts it wide.
4. Jon Dahl Tomasson
With several protests surrounding Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley, it is no surprise that the fans are fed up. After all, one of their former players has epitomised the lack of quality in recent months on Tyneside. It comes in the form of Jon Dahl Thomasson who managed to put his chance over the bar from right under the goal line. At the time the ex Geordie boy was playing Dutch side Ajax and as the ball comes, he somehow balloons it over the crossbar.
3. Chris Iwelumo
It does not get any grander than on the international stage. For Scottish striker, Chris Iwelumo first impression are not always the best ones. The former Wolverhampton Wanderers front man carried the weight of the nation on his shoulders as he went into the game against Norway. With qualification on the horizon, this result was key in determining the shape of the group. With the game deadlocked, it was up to Iwelumo to set the stadium alight. After coming on as a substitute, he managed to miss the target from less than four yards out
2. Kei Kamara
We head to the MLS for the next mysterious miss. This time it is Kei Kamara who was playing for Kansas City Wizards. As the cross comes in from the left side of the field, the Wizard striker hits the ball past the keeper hits the post and rolls along the line. Kamara should surely tap this ball in but instead manages to miss it completely and push the ball in with his hand. In fairness to Kamara, Diego Maradona put the ball in with his hand and was granted a goal, so perhaps Kamara thought he could do the same.
1. Ronnie Rosenthal
Arguably the finest miss of them all belongs to former Liverpool player Ronnie Rosenthal. One of a handful of Israeli players to play in the Premier League, the striker does all the hard part. He has the ability to walk the ball past the Aston Villa goal keeper with ease and run it towards the goal. Yet as the open goal stands in front of him, Rosenthal somehow, unbeknown to his team mates strikes the crossbar.
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