This week’s Toppo’s Top Ten takes a look at a rare occurrence in football – goalkeepers scoring goals. The times when the man charged with stopping goals at one end of the pitch nets himself at the other to the unbridled joy of teammates, fans and coaching staff. Of course there are the odd goalkeepers who find the net as often as many strikers with free-kicks and penalties, but those guys are usually found in South America or Europe. In England we’ve not seen such flamboyance as goalkeepers here are very much solid and get the job done – however the odd one or two have stuck the past their opposite number.
It comes after Deportivo la Coruna goalkeeper Daniel Aranzubia became the first ‘keeper to score in La Liga after his header salvaged a late 1-1 with Almeria a few weeks back. The top ten will take in some goals from famous goal-getting goalies as you’ll see – if you ask me there’s not enough ‘keepers getting on the score sheet these days!
10: MARK CROSSLEY – Sheffield Wednesday v Southampton 2007
‘Big Norm’ has had a mention on the Optajoke Podcast in the last few weeks, and he gets a well-deserved mention here. The Nottingham Forest legend netted a dramatic late equaliser for Sheffield Wednesday at Hillsborough in 2007 after going up for a corner. Wednesday were 3-1 down in the second half but pulled it back to 3-2 and had a corner in the last-minute of the game. 37 year old Crossley went up for the kick as and it swung into the six yard box, the Welsh goalkeeper was on hand to head home and make it 3-3. A brilliant moment as he, his team-mates and Wednesday fans went bonkers.
9: LUIS ENRIQUE MARTINEZ RODRIGUEZ – Columbia v Poland 2006
In a warm-up friendly ahead of the 2006 World Cup, Manchester United reserve goalie Tomas Kuszczak gets caught cold by his opposite number 1 whilst playing for Poland, after the Columbia stopper Rodriguez launches a kick up field. The ball travels at least 80 yards before bouncing and when it does it flies over the head and outstretched arms of a bemused Kuszczak.
8: PETER SCHMEICHEL – Manchester United v Rotor Volograd 1995
In the 1994/95 UEFA Cup, Manchester United played Russian side Rotor Volograd and in desperate need of a goal late into the 2nd leg at Old Trafford, goalkeeper Peter Schmeichel went up for four corners as United piled on the pressure. Ryan Giggs bent in the corner from the right and The Great Dane headed the ball low past the keeper and across the line. Unfortunately it wasn’t enough for United as they were eliminated on away goals.
7: ANDRES PALOP – Sevilla v Shakhtar Donetsk 2007
Spanish goalkeeper Andres Palop saved Sevilla from an UEFA Cup exit in 2007 with a late late goal. Traliling 2-1 away to Shakhtar in the last-16, the goalie went up for a corner and planted a firm header into the bottom corner of the net from the out swinging kick. The goal kept the defending champions in the competition and forced the match into extra-time. Sevilla went on to win 3-2 and went on to retain the trophy, Palop saving three Espanyol penalties in the final. Incredible stuff.
6: PAUL ROBINSON – Tottenham Hotspur v Watford 2007
In a Premier League match against Watford at White Hart Lane four years ago, Paul Robinson beat England goalkeeping rival Ben Foster with a huge clearance downfield – it’s one way to impress the national boss I guess. Midway through the second half, Spurs were winning 1-0 and had a free-kick near the touchline level with the edge of their penalty area. Goalkeeper Robinson took it and launched a customary long-ball forward towards the strikers. However the ball took a massive bounce and flew over Hornets goalie Ben Foster for 2-0. Foster smiled wryly and Robinson was congratulated by thrilled teammates.
5: MART POOM – Sunderland v Derby 2003
The Big Estonian makes this list for a truly thumping header from 2003. He was returning to Pride Park, where he’d played for Derby County for five years and his Sunderland team were a goal down in the final minute but had a corner. Poom went up field and as the ball came in he ran, leapt like a salmon at the back post and powered it home with his head to equalise.
4: RENE HIGUITA – Nacional v River Plate 1995
The name Rene Higuita to fans of English football conjures up memories of his famous scorpion kick save at Wembley in 1995 and his rush-goalie tactics for Columbia at Italia ’90. Fans of Argentinian side River Plate however will remember the time he netted a superb free-kick against them in the first leg of the semi-finals of the Copa Libertadores in 1995. Nacional won the set piece on the edge of River’s penalty area, just right of centre and goalkeeper Higuita went forward to take it. With the sort of skill and technique we’ve come to expect from the best of dead-ball specialists, the Columbian bends the ball round the wall and in off the bar. Great celebrations follow – check out this hidden gem too – a TV advert starring Higuita advertising a fruit drink in his native Columbia, with a scorpion-kick in there for good measure. What a man.
3. ROGERIO CENI – Sao Paolo v Santos 2000
Rogerio Ceni has made his name in South American football as a dead-ball specialist, taking penalties and free kicks for his club team Sao Paolo aswell as being capped 17 times by Brazil. This free-kick is a beauty and it comes during the second leg of the final match of the Brazilian League season, the Campeonato Paulista. Santos were in front and levelled the tie at 1-1 on 29 minutes, but ten minutes later Ceni levelled. Sao Paolo won a free kick 25 yards from goal and the goalkeeper hit the ball up and over the wall and in off the bar superbly. A brilliant effort which put Sao Paolo back in front and he was mobbed by team-mates as everyone celebrated like mad. Great scenes and Sao Paolo went on to win the title 3-2 on aggregate.
2: JIMMY GLASS – Carlisle v Plymouth 1999
As dramatic a goal as you’re ever likely to find. Jimmy Glass was on short-term loan at struggling Carlisle from Swindon Town but wrote his name into the club’s folklore on the final day of the 1998-99 season. Carlisle would be relegated to the Conference if they failed to better Scarborough’s result – that ended 1-1 as Carlisle’s match with Plymouth (also 1-1) entered it’s final moments. Desperate for a goal to save their league status everyone piled forward as Carlisle had a last-minute corner, including ‘keeper Glass. Unbelievably, the ball fell to him and he smashed it into the net with his right boot to keep Carlisle in the Football League as delirious fans invaded the pitch.
1: JOSE LUIS CHILAVERT – Velez Sarsfield v River Plate 1996
Probably the most famous goalscoring goalkeeper of them all, Jose Luis Chilavert took penalties and free-kicks for club and country – the Paraguayan stopper 2nd in the all-time list of scoring goalies with 62 goals, behind Rogerio Ceni who’s got 96. However Chilavert did one score a hat-trick of penalties for Velez against Ferro Carril Oeste becoming the first, and only goalkeeper so far, to score three times in one match.
His best free-kick comes for Velez Sarsfield in a match against River Plate. Velez had a free kick in their own half inside the centre circle but with one of their players laying stricken on the floor, the players on the pitch were checking if he was fine to continue. Meanwhile Chilavert ran forward, took the free-kick and booted the ball 50 yards straight over the River goalkeeper (falling onto his arse as he tried to react) and into the net. A valid goal and a brilliant one too, from a true one-off of a footballer.
HANS-JORG BUTT – Bayer Leverkusen v Schalke 04 2004
German goalkeeper Hans-Jorg Butt is a penalty specialist in the Bundesliga, scoring nearly 30 goals in the league. Now with Bayern Munich, it is when he was with Bayer Leverkusen this goal comes from. In an away match against Schalke 04, Butt scored a penalty and celebrated with his team-mates as he casually jogged backed toward his goal. However Schalke’s players kicked off quickly and Mike Hanke shot and scored from the halfway line as Butt was still running back to his net, hilarious.