What happened to Helmuth Duckadam? “I saved four penalties to win the European Cup... but it was my last ever game”

Helmuth Duckadam
Illustration: Gavin McBain

When I was a kid, I’d always dream of playing in a big game and being the hero, helping my team to glory. But even as a child, I didn’t dare imagine it happening in the European Cup final.

Then, aged 27, even before reaching what’s regarded as the peak years for a keeper, that’s exactly what I did. I’d saved penalties in the past, against Roma and some very good players in Romania. I guess you could say that was my specialty. I stayed on after training for hours with team-mates, making bets on how many penalties I could save. All of that practice came in pretty handy.

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