5. Partick Thistle v Dundee United, 1992/93
Scottish referee Les Mottram is not in Dundee United’s Paddy Connolly good-books after, in 1992, denying the striker a hat-trick after his goal bounced back out of the goal. To make matters worse, a Thistle defender picked up the ball and handed it to his ‘keeper expecting a restart. Mottram waved play on, failing to award the clear goal or alternatively award a penalty to the opposing player picking up the ball. Bizarrely he was chosen by the Scottish FA to referee two matches in the 1994 World Cup.
4. Watford v Reading, 2008/9.
“Probably the worst decision I’ve ever witnessed in football,” was Stephen Hunt’s opinion. “A strange one – I don’t know what he was thinking,” offered Hunt’s brother and then team-mate, Noel. They Irish internationals were of course referring to Stuart Attwell’s bizarre decision to award a goal to Watford’s John Eustace, despite him kicking the ball four yards wide of the post. Attwell and his linesman were the only people in the entire stadium to witness the phantom goal. Watch it here.
3. France v Ireland, 2009.
Thierry Henry handles the ball as France score in extra-time of the 2nd leg play off in Paris. Referee Martin Hansson sees nothing. Ireland’s World Cup dreams are squashed. Let’s not remind ourselves.
2. Croatia v Australia, 2006 World Cup
Respected Premier League referee Graham Poll was selected to supervise the Group F match. After booking Croatia’s Josip Šimunić twice, Poll failed to send off the Hertha Berlin star. It took a “third” yellow card for the Croatian to leave the field of play causing outrage at the English referee, who later resigned from refereeing international games.
1. Santacruzense v Atletico Sorocaba , 2006. The most ridiculous of the ridiculous. A ballboy – yes, you read that correct – a ballboy ‘scores’ in Brazil’s Paulista Federation Cup and the referee for some reason awards the 89th minute equaliser. “I should have trusted my own vision,” said referee Silvia Regina de Oliveira after the game. Words fail me. Watch the incident here.
When “Super” Mario Balotellistamped on Scott Parker during Sunday’s tie between City and Spurs, it sparked outrage (mainly on Twitter, as always). It was, by all accounts, clearly intentional and well out of order. But it is far from the worst thing I have ever witnessed on the pitch. Here are 5 gutwrenching moments in our beautiful game:
1. Brazilian youngster Kerlon rose to fame in 2007 for his famous seal-dribble of the ball during the match. This involves him repeatedly bouncing the ball on his head while running past and beating players. Then in 2007, Atletico Mineiro’s Coelho thought enough was enough. See below. Ouch!
2. Revenge, they say, is best served cold. Roy Keane loves to serve his revenge with all his power and six studs. Alf-Inge Haaland found this out the hard way.
3. German keeper Harald Schumacher‘s name is often remembered in world football for one thing: leaving French defender Patrick Battiston in a coma after knocking two of his teeth following a horrific collision in the 1982 World Cup. Battiston made a full recovery and even faced the keeper again in a future World Cup, but stayed well away from Schumacher during the game.
4. There is a 21st Century Schumacher. While Nuno Claro’s chest-smashing karate kick didn’t nearly kill his opponent (unlike our German friend) it was fairly filthy, to be honest. What’s unusual is Claro protesting his innocence to the referee. A judge would have given him a jail sentence.
5. Last but not least. Cameroon v Argentina in the 1990 World Cup. Claudio Cannigia v Benjamin Massing. The worst part is that you could see this (possibly quite deliberate) foul coming. It’s not every day you see a defender challenge a player so hard, his boot comes off in the collision. Even the referee gave him another yellow card after the red.
Remember a couple of seasons ago, when Readingfamously were allowed a goal against Watford when the ball didn’t actually cross the line – or go anywhere near it. The English media, as they do, were making mountains out of molehills at the time and even called for the referee and linesman to be permanently relieved from their duties. It wasn’t the first phantom goal that would leave thousands – literally thousands – scratching their heads in disbelief.
German side Eintracht Frankfurt will never forgive the officials of their game against Duisburg two seasons ago. Having being already 4-0 down, Duisburg were bizarrely awarded a fifth from this effort which clearly hit the bar and didnt bounce anywhere near the line. Ein disaster!
But after careful consideration, I am awarding the most ridiculous and absurd ‘goal’ to this moment of hilarity below in a 1989 Colombian league match between Santa Fe and Pereira. Watch it. Shake your head in disbelief. I did for about an hour.
Well, 2011 has produced some moments of hilarity. Mario Balotelli trying to put on his training bib is one moment that springs to mind. But as for on-pitch bloopers, I love a good glorious miss. I witnessed something in Germany that made me literally think “my granny could finish that”.
21 year old Edgar Prib became a household name in Germany with a spectacular miss when his Greuther Furth side were facing Eintracht Frankfurt recently. In the 18th minute, the 21-year old chipped Franfurt ‘keeper Oka Nikolov and all he needed to do was to tap the ball in the net from a few metres. Unfortunately Prib, who will probably be forever remembered for what happened next, spectacularly hit the post. Ouch. Have a look at the video below.
“I died a thousand deaths,” Prib told reporters, “I could have decided that game but instead the God of football did not want it that way.”
The match ended 0-0. I’d say his manager was a tad livid.
I’ve witnessed some cracking goals and some dire misses in my time. What came to my attention recently was two goals from wonderful bicycle-kicks. Better than Wayne Rooney’s against City last season? I certainly think so.
The first is this goal from Swiss international striker Eren Derdiyok for Bayer Leverkusen agaisnt Wolsfburg. That technique should earn him sort of trophy. Or, at least, the German goal of the season.
Secondly is Julio “The Beast” Baptista‘s match-winning bicycle kick for newly-rich Malaga against Getafe. I almost fell off the couch when I was watching this at home. I didn’t even know it was possible to fall off a couch from watching football.
Lastly, and speaking of dire misses, Galician-based CD Lugo faced RCD Alcala recently. During the game, Lugo’s Ivan somehow mis-controls the ball in front of an open goal and the Spanish third-tier game becomes viral on You Tube. Better luck next time, amigo.
Here is a great example, if any, that you should always, always, always go out and play for a win and nothing less.
South Africa faced Sierra Leone on Saturday in the Mbombela Stadium, one of last summer´s World Cup stadia just outside the city of Nelspruit. It was a qualifying match for the 2012 African Cup Of Nations – and a crucial one. The significantly weakened “Bafana Bafana” side went out and played for the draw in the important qualifier, thinking it was enough to top the team’s group and seal a place in the 2012 finals. It wasn´t.
To make matters worse, after the final whistle, the South African players celebrated the goal-less tie, believing that they had won a place in the competition that begins next January. Manager Pitso Mosimane has admitted he had changed tactics for the match and played for the draw. South Africa actually needed to win the game to avoid being eliminated on head-to-head results between the three teams tied at the top. It seems nobody read the rules correctly. This is the second time in a row that “Bafana Bafana” have failed to qualify for the tournament´s finals. Not that Niger will mind. They qualify for the the first time at South Africa´s expense.
"We won....wait, we didn´t"
Ireland need at the very minimum a point to seal a play-off spot tomorrow night. Playing for the draw could (and knowing out luck, it will be) an enormously bad idea. Far too risky for my liking. Roy Keane once said a draw is two points dropped. I can´t help but agree.
A bunch of grown men sitting around and excitedly describing the action on an unseen monitor. It’s the classic Soccer Saturday formula that many (myself included) tune into on most, if not all, Saturday afternoons. Well, the Italians have something similar. But they love a bit of drama in their version.
Their Jeff Stelling is Fulvio Giuliani, a sharply dressed and slick haird host that often mistakes replays for the live action. The Chris “Unbelievable Jeff” Kamara is Elio “Forza Inter” Corno – an obsessed Inter fan. Corno is known for his spats with the mustachioed AC Milan fanatic Tiziano Crudelli. In March 2009 things came to blows in the studio with the two nutters literally fighting live on air. Cue for commercial? No chance.
Crudelli's usual reaction to when AC Milan win a corner
During AC Milan vs Tottenham’s Champions League tie last season, Crudelli’s reactions to both Crouch’s goal and Milan’s disallowed goal went viral on You Tube. Could you imagine Phil Thompson reacting like this? Actually, you probably could. But could you imagine Paul Merson reacting like this if Arsenal scored? Actually, maybe you just could too. Tiziano Crudelli is my new favourite hero.
If you find yourself in Italy, check out the show titled Diretta Stadio. The chaos along with the pretty girl who reads out the best emails from viewers really makes it no wonder Italians don’t bother going to too many games.
I recently witnessed a man walking down Grafton Street sporting this season’s Everton goalkeeper jersey. Yes, that camouflage one. It might work if you are in armed combat or if you happen to be Ian Brown. It’s just a bit wrong for a goalkeeper jersey. For me it’s the worst football jersey in the last year.
Here’s my top 5 worst football jerseys.
5. Mexico. The much-praised Jorge Campos used to design his own jersey when on international duty for Mexico. I’m not sure if he could be praised for what he designed though.
4. Chelsea. Orange and grey. Oh dear.
3. Exeter City. I presume it was designed by Timmy Mallet?
2. Crystal Palace. Christmas wrapping paper is never a good jersey design.
1. Caribous of Colorado. Yes, a team actually wore this for an entire season in 1978.
Know of any more disaster designs? Let me know or hit me up on Twitter.
Manchester United won their 19th English top-flight league trophy while rivals Manchester City won their first FA Cup since 1969. The rivalry off the pitch continued as ex-Oasis songwriter and Man City fanatic Noel Gallagher and former Man United defender Gary Neville went head-to-head recently. With Rio Ferdinand acting as a middle-man.
It started off with Neville tweeting the lyrics of the chorus from the Oasis classic “Fade Away“. Ferdinand then tweeted “just been asked by Noel to tell you to not use lyrics from Fade Away or any other Oasis songs…Said he feels violated!”. Then according to reports it moved on to text messages with Ferdinand again acting as the middle man. Neville asked Noel “Shouldn’t you be writing a new album or has your pen run out of ink?”. Gallagher hilariously responded “My pen runs on pure gold. Ink is for your daft mates’ tattoos”, to which Gary Neville replied: “Gold? If you take any longer you’ll be on UK Gold”. Gallagher, a lifelong A.B.U., texted back “The thought of you humming my new tunes while combing your ‘tache in the mirror makes me want to take another year off. But if you promise not to buy a copy when it comes out, I’ll get a move on”.
Gallagher then told a British tabloid newspaper “If Mr Neville continues to use the holy scriptures of Oasis to communicate with the Cockney massive, I shall be forced to come up to Cheshire in the middle of the night and break into his house. I will then tie him to a chair, make him listen to the ‘The Best of Simply Red’ while I pull his ‘tache out one grey hair at a time (with my teeth), liberate those Oasis CDs and shit in his manbag. You have been warned!”.
Football El Mundo is still waiting to hear Neville’s response, though we hope he picks on brother Liam next – a brave move.
Referees have a tough job. Without the use of technology (which boggles many as to why they still don’t) the job they do can be tough. And contraversial as has been the case on many occasions.
One of the most shocking fouls in the history of the professional game to go unpunished occured at the Estadio Pizjuan in Seville at the 1982 World Cup in a game between West Germany and France. With France’s Patrick Battiston clean through on goal, he had only goalkeeper Harald Schumacher to beat. The 6 fot 2 inch ‘keeper launched himself in the air at Battiston and collided with him mid-air. The French defender was instantly knocked unconcious (before later slipping into a coma) and required oxygen on the pitch. The then-Saine Etienne player lost three teeth and badly damaged his vertebrae. The referee’s decision? Sending off? No. Yellow card? Nope. A talking to at least? Not a chance. Seeing as the ball rolled out of play during Schumacher’s challenge, he waved for the German ‘keeper to take a goal kick. Cheers, ref. [kml_flashembed movie="http://www.youtube.com/v/DbbsytHDp2o" width="425" height="350" wmode="transparent" /]
One of the most famous decisions that a referee got wrong involved the great Diego Maradona when he famously punched the ball into the English net at the Azteca Stadium in the 1986 World Cup in Mexico. The Argentine genius later said in his autobiography, El Diego, that it felt a little like “pickpocketing the English”. Maradona may have scored the goal of the century four minutes later, but the many English fans and media have refused to forgive the legend for his ‘hand of God’. But even Gary Lineker himself now would admit that Diego put a ‘touch’ more class on the handball than when a certain Frenchman did against Ireland recent years.
Some phantom goals have been awarded in recent years, as have blatant goals that haven’t. But when a ballboy scores an 89th-minute equalizer for Brazilian club side Santacruzense against Athletico Sorocaba and it’s given, we a truly entering the world of ridiculous. Sepp Blatter has stated that FIFA intend to not bring in goal-line technology anytime soon. At least his decision will continue to be the subject of much discussion for years to come.
Two things that have caught my eye on You Tube this morning.
Firstly, at the recent Ireland v Uruguay friendly at the Aviva, I was sitting amongst a lot of Uruguay fans. Loud and passionate about their football, I noticed that most of them were wearing yellow and black jerseys. I asked one of them in my limited Spanish who the team were? “Peñarol!” came the reply “we love them as much as Uruguay”. I was impressed with that level of support for the Montevideo club. But I didn’t realise that Uruguayans love the club so much that they bring a flag the size of Montevideo itself to games. See the video below – you don’t see that in Tallaght Stadium, that’s for sure. [kml_flashembed movie="http://www.youtube.com/v/OcLlsnX0g0I" width="425" height="350" wmode="transparent" /]
Secondly, The Special One and Real Madrid woke up this morning feeling somewhat victorious in their Copa del Rey win against Barcelona. What they didn’t wake up with was the cup itself. Or at least in the same condition it was handed to them last night. Defender Sergio Ramos accidentally dropped the trophy amid celebrations on an open-top bus at Madrid’s famous Cibeles fountain and unfortunately the bus drove over it. Ooops. Spanish paper El Mundo reported today that it had been smashed in ten pieces while Ramos himself said on his Twitter page that it is fine. Either way, it’s lucky Ramos isn’t Madrid’s ‘keeper. Otherwise there probably would have been a goal-fest at the Mestalla last night. [kml_flashembed movie="http://www.youtube.com/v/NXxSuzRpTps" width="425" height="350" wmode="transparent" /]
You may have seen this already. I felt it was too good not to put in. This is Mario Balotelli warming up for Manchester City vs. Dynamo Kiev last Thursday. He seems to be struggling with putting on his bib – to the point where he needs assistance. Robbie Savage provides commentary in the video below. [kml_flashembed movie="http://www.youtube.com/v/erI5dG3_R5E" width="425" height="350" wmode="transparent" /]
To be fair, they are quite tricky – if you’re asleep.