Football

5 footballers who became goalkeepers when needed

Rio Ferdinand took the gloves in the 2008 FA Cup
Rio Ferdinand took the gloves in the 2008 FA Cup

Football is one of the most unpredictable games in the world. You never know what’s going to happen, as the game twists and turns in every single second of its intense 90 minutes.

There have been some unbelievable last-minute goals that the sport has given us, but there have been many incidents where players are forced to take up roles that they aren’t comfortable with as well. However, leading the team to glory is what the game is all about, no matter how many times a player might need to step out of his comfort zone for it.

There have been a few incidents where world-class football players were forced to become goalkeepers for their teams in specific circumstances.

The likes of John O’Shea to John Terry, who would do anything to save the day for their team, have shown the world that responsibility is an extremely important factor in football. Five such outfield players have stepped up to the goalpost and made sure that their team are not short of a man in the net, temporarily becoming the goalkeepers for their teams to save the day.


#5 Dani Alves – Paris Saint Germain

Alves took the gloves after Kevin Trapp was sent off
Alves took the gloves after Kevin Trapp was sent off

Regarded as one of the greatest right-backs in the world, Alves is known for his creativity from the right-hand side, developing some of the most intense plays for the likes of Barcelona and Paris Saint Germain.

His pace, ability to read the game and leadership quality have unparalleled prowess, and even at the age of 35, Alves continues to perform every week without any inhibitions. He has been an extremely important player for the Brazil national team as well.

His sense of responsibility has been far beyond expectation, as in the 4-1 win against Sochaux in the French Cup, the Brazilian took the gloves after his team’s goalkeeper Kevin Trapp was sent off for a foul on the edge of the box. Interestingly, Alves managed to keep a clean sheet with only 30 seconds remaining for the full-time whistle.

#4 John O’ Shea – Manchester United

When O'Shea donned the gloves...
When O’Shea donned the gloves…

O’Shea may have not been a first choice player at Old Trafford, but the defensive midfielder has given some extremely important and unforgettable memories that Manchester United fans might never forget.

From UEFA Champions League to multiple Premier League titles to FA Cups, the Irish midfielder has won it all in his career. His football CV looks like an extremely interesting one – his versatility made him one of the rare outfielders who turned into goalkeepers to save the day.

We all remember the famous incident when the Irishmen took to the net against Tottenham Hotspur and kept an extremely unexpected clean sheet. After Edwin van der Sar suffered a blow, and United had already made 3 substitutions, it was time for someone to wear the gloves.

Ultimately, it was O’Shea became the glove bearer and led his team from the back. With him making a few memorable saves, the Red Devils were able to win 4-0 at the White Hart Lane.

Terry became the goalkeeper for Chelsea against Reading FC after both his keepers were injured
Terry became the goalkeeper for Chelsea against Reading FC after both his keepers were injured

We remember the famous 2006 clash of Chelsea against Reading FC, wherein the attempt to save a goal, Chelsea’s Petr Cech collided with Reading’s Stephen Hunt in a collision that was so brutal it wasn’t shown on the TV.

Moments after Cech was escorted to the hospital, and the fact that he suffered a skull fracture. Cudicini, who was the replacement keeper came on for Cech. The drama wasn’t over, as Cudicini clashed with Reading’s Ibrahim Sonko, who (Cudicini) was escorted out of the stadium with a neck brace.

John Terry, being the true leader that he is, took the gloves and led his team to an extremely dramatic 1-0 victory, is the goalkeeper for the remaining minutes.

He successfully managed to keep a clean sheet right up on his goalkeeping debut in the Premier League. No Reading player could get past the Chelsea skipper as he made some of the most crucial saves.

#2 Harry Kane – Tottenham Hotspur

Kane's goalkeeping debut wasn't quite impressive.
Kane’s goalkeeping debut wasn’t quite impressive.

Probably one of the most embarrassing nights for the Spurs, as their striker captain did something nobody was expecting to do. Albeit, it was a display of leadership and responsibility, Kane’s skills as a goalkeeper were completely terrible.

In his breakthrough season in 2014, Kane played in a brief Europa League campaign, but in a match against Asteras Tripolis, Loris was sent off and all their substitutes were used up. In the remaining minutes, Harry Kane took the gloves and went on to the woodwork.

Kane, who had scored a wonderful hat-trick in that particular match managed to fumble up at the post when he was seen ‘juggling’ with the ball instead of catching it right after a free kick was taken.

The result? The goal for the opposition. It was surely one of those moments that the Spurs fans would never forget. Loris made sure that he was never booked again!

#1 Rio Ferdinand – Manchester United

Ferdinand tried saving the penalty but couldn't do so.
Ferdinand tried saving the penalty but couldn’t do so.

Yet another incident when both the goalkeepers were sent off and another player had to save the day, Rio Ferdinand did something similar to what John Terry did back in 2006.

It was an unbelievable display of leadership by the Manchester United centre-back but wasn’t quite the best goalkeeping performance.

The FA Cup tie against Portsmouth back in 2008 was more dramatic than ever, as in the dying moments of the match, Ferdinand was forced to become the goalkeeper after two of Manchester United’s only two goalkeepers were forced to walk off the pitch.

Ferdinand did show some skill as he dived right into the penalty that was taken by Sully Muntari, but there was far too much power in his shot as it made way past the English centre-back and into the net. The impact of the Ghanaian’s penalty was way too powerful, as Manchester United were knocked out of the FA Cup right away.

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