10 of football’s most disastrous (but also hilarious) goalkeeping displays of all time
Iker Casillas (Spain 1-5 Holland, World Cup 2014)
Casillas almost cost Real Madrid La Decima after flapping hopelessly at a cross in the previous month’s Champions League final against Atletico Madrid, only to be bailed out by Sergio Ramos’s 93rd-minute equaliser in Lisbon.
Just three weeks later he was on the receiving end of a 5-1 thrashing by Holland in Brazil, calling it the “worst performance of my career”. Casillas miscontrolled a backpass to let Robin van Persie in, and then missed another inswinging free-kick which was bundled home. “The first thing I have to do is offer a mea culpa,” the 33-year-old admitted.
Unfortunately for Casillas, he probably revisited the confession box five days later when a weak punch led to Chile’s second goal as holders Spain crashed out in the group stage.
Massimo Taibi (Chelsea 5-0 Manchester United, 1999)
After Peter Schmeichel left Old Trafford in 1999, Taibi revealed: “Ferguson’s brother [Martin, himself a former manager] desperately wanted me. It was between me and (Francesco) Toldo — but in the end they chose me.”
Ruud van Nistelrooy and Jaap Stam were more successful recommendations from Fergie’s sibling, but he didn’t get anywhere close with Taibi. The Italian produced a series of monumental blunders in his four games for Manchester United after signing from Venezie for £4.5m.
When a Matt Le Tissier daisy-cutter went between his legs and apologetically crept over the line in a 3-3 draw at Old Trafford, The Sun’s headline screamed “Blind Venetian”.
But it was a 5-0 drubbing at Stamford Bridge the very next week which proved the final straw. Taibi collided with Denis Irwin after missing Dan Petrescu’s cross and allowing Gus Poyet to score, setting the tone for a Sunday afternoon roasting.
The Italian was dropped for the next game and loaned to Reggina in 2000. His replacement, Mark Bosnich, was described by Ferguson as “a terrible professional” while his post-Schmeichel woes continued.
Marton Fulop (West Brom 2-3 Arsenal, 2012)
Tottenham and Arsenal were tussling for third place on the last day of the 2011/12 Premier League season to land Champions League qualification – the last available spot as it turned out, thanks to Chelsea’s shock victory in the final that year.
Unfortunately for Spurs fans, Baggies keeper Marton Fulop delivered a performance that might be politely described as third-rate, in his only Premier League appearance for the club.
First, the Hungarian’s needless charge from the penalty area was exploited by Yossi Benayoun. After West Brom struck twice to take a surprise lead, Fulop let an Andre Santos shot sneak in at the near post despite getting a huge hand on it. For the Gunners’ winner, the hosts’ keeper somehow contrived to punch the ball backwards from a corner into the path of a grateful Laurent Koscielny.
“I’m not blaming Fulop for Tottenham missing out on the Champions League, but it seemed that everything that could go wrong went wrong for us in the closing months of the season,” Spurs chief Harry Redknapp later groaned.
Tragically, Fulop died of cancer in November 2015, aged just 32.