There are many moments in football’s history that stand apart for being amazing. From last minute goals to impressive saves, the list is endless. On the other hand, there have also been some unbelievable blunders.
We don’t judge professional football players for their mistakes. After all, everyone has done some stupid things. But it is still fun to look back, shake our heads and appreciate that even professional athletes can make mind-blowing errors.
These are the biggest blunders in football history.
Andres Escobar – Own Goal
The story of Andres Escobar isn’t particularly funny. In 1994 Colombian professional player Escobar committed the biggest football crime of all; scoring an own goal. The act in itself would have been enough to shame him, more so that his team lost to the United States 2-1. There isn’t, of course, any guarantee that the own goal is the only reason Colombia lost, but the blunder certainly played a big part.
Just 10 days later Escobar was shot dead. It is widely speculated that he was murdered by drug lords that had put a great deal of money on Colombia to beat the USA.
Diego Maradona – Hand Of God
Perhaps the most controversial mistake of all time, the Hand Of God goal has gone down in history. In 1986 Diego Maradona may, or may not, have punched the ball into the net, ultimately allowing Argentina to beat England. It has been argued for decades if Maradona did indeed punch the ball, but the player has more or less outright admitted that he did.
The controversy comes from the fact that referee Ali Bin Nassar did not see the infringement. Additionally, Maradona avoided admitting his wrongdoing for many years. Check the Dunkel Index and it becomes clear that Argentina hardly needed illegal goals to win, given how good they are without cheating.
Roberto Baggio – Missed Penalty
Another legendary blunder comes courtesy of Roberto Baggio in 1994. During the World Cup final Italy went head to head with Brazil, culminating in a penalty shootout. Many assumed that Baggio would nail his penalty, given his reputation as a world class striker.
Not only did Baggio miss, his ball wasn’t even on target. It flew meters over the bar. Italy lost because of this blunder, burdening Baggio with a rather hefty World Cup defeat.
Rene Higuita – Punished For Arrogance
There is professional football, and then there is messing around on the field. It goes without saying that pro football is where the silly antics stop. Apparently, Colombian goalkeeper Rene Higuita didn’t get this message, costing his team dearly in 1990.
In what can only be described as a very poorly thought out stunt, the goalkeeper attempted to dribble the ball past a Milla player, miles from his own goal. Had he pounced on the ball, the goal that followed would never have happened.
But it did happen, and Colombia landed up being eliminated with a loss of 2-1. Though, just because Higuita failed on this occasion, it doesn’t mean he didn’t pull off some very impressive stunts on other occasions.