Scoring an own goal is the most humiliating thing that can happen on the pitch, and it can also have an enormous impact on the entire game. Scoring an own goal can shake a player's confidence and make them a weak point on the team, and for their teammates it can be incredibly disheartening and also cause you to lose some faith in the player who made the crucial error. In addition to this, it can also see the opposing fans pick on the player and galvanise the opponents to go on and take advantage of the gift that your team just presented them.
Sometimes you can’t help but feel sorry for the culprit, no matter where your loyalties lie. Own goals can be unavoidable and harsh at times, as it may go down as an own goal if the ball takes a big deflection off the player, there may be a communication breakdown with the goalkeeper, or they may put the ball in their own net as they are trying to clear it off the line. Sometimes though, you have to wonder what was going through their head as they make outrageous decisions and catastrophic errors that stun the entire stadium and leave their managers shaking their head. There are a few players that seem to have a habit of putting the ball in their own net (even in the same game!), which makes you wonder how their team mates feel each game lining up alongside them. Some of the most reliable, smart players in the game have scored unbelievable own goals, demonstrating that it can happen to anyone when you tune out or make the wrong decision.
An entertaining, humiliating and sometimes bizarre moment in soccer, own goals are a key part to the game and there are a number of outrageous ones each year. Here are a collection of the most embarrassing own goals of all time.
15 Peter Enckelman (Aston Villa v Birmingham 2002)
14 Djimi Traoré (Liverpool v Burnley 2005)
13 Marco Materazzi (Inter Milan v Empoli 2006)
12 Carl Jenkinson (Arsenal v Cologne 2011)
11 Vincent Kompany (Manchester City v Fulham 2013)
10 Christoph Kramer (Borussia Monchengladbach v Borussia Dortmund 2014)
9 Jonathan Walters (Stoke v Chelsea 2013)
8 Franck Quedrue (Bastia v RC Lens 2001)
7 Tony Popovic (Crystal Palace v Portsmouth 2004)
6 Tomislav Piplica (Energie Cottbus v Borussia Monchengladbach 2002)
5 Lee Dixon (Arsenal v Coventry 1991)
4 Bernard Parker (South Africa v Ethiopia 2013)
3 Festus Baise (Sun Hai v Citizen AA 2011)
2 Jamie Pollock (Manchester City v QPR 1998)
1 Chris Brass (Bury v Darlington 2006)
There really isn't an own goal that you could score which could be more embarrassing than Chris Brass’s, who is one of the better known lower league players purely because of this own goal. Attempting to clear the ball over his head as the ball came into the box, Brass could only manage to smash the ball straight into his own face, before it cruelly bounced past the keeper into his own goal. You can’t help but feel sorry for Brass, who was left with a broken nose, a bruised ego, disappointed teammates and the title of the best own goal of all time.
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