If there is one moment you need full concentration, it is in the final of the biggest club competition on the planet – so no nerves right? More often or not, the team that can keep it together better is the one that ends up lifting the trophy.
On the 14th anniversary of John Terry’s infamous slip against Manchester United to cost Chelsea the trophy, the Blues legend is not the only one to be haunted by his Champions League blunders. Here are a collection of times where players have ended up with their biggest heads-in-hands moments.
It is impossible not to feel sorry for the young goalkeeper after a nightmare performance in the 2018 Champions League final. With Liverpool and Real Madrid set to meet again four years on, the German’s display will no doubt be revisited by broadcasters ahead of the sequel later this month.
Under absolutely no pressure and the scores locked at a tense 0-0, Karius tried to roll the ball out to his defence. But instead, Karim Benzema lurked to simply stick a boot out as the ball hit his foot and trickled over the line in one of the most bizarre goals in Champions League history – and it did not end there.
Loris Karius (again)
One error in the Champions League final is more than enough to make you want to hide away forever – what two would do to someone is unfathomable. But that is exactly what happened to Karius on that night in Kiev four years ago.
Perhaps with his earlier error replaying in his mind, the former Union Berlin star took his eyes off the ball for a split second after Gareth Bale had had a pot-shot from range. The result? The ball flashing through his arms and into the back of the net and one goalkeeper crumpled on the ground – wishing it would open up and swallow him.
In 2005, Carragher was part of the Liverpool team that beat all the odds to come back from 3-0 down to beat AC Milan on penalties – and two years later – the Rossoneri got their revenge. And it was the Reds legend who might have been red in the face after his woeful offside trap absolutely failed.
After Javier Mascherano had gone off as Rafa Benitez went for the win, that gave Kaka the freedom of the park to play a pass through to Filippo Inzaghi. Carragher tried to step up and play the striker offside – but was far too late for the predatory Italian – who made no mistake to poke past Pepe Reina as AC Milan went on to win the 2007 Champions League final in Athens.
No doubt Terry will be moping about in his mansion with a dash of melancholy as today marks the 14th anniversary of that infamous moment where he slipped in Moscow against United. If he had scored, it would have seen Chelsea win the Champions League, but in the rain, the Marmite character ended up on the deck to miss his penalty in a moment that he has admitted will haunt him forever.
It might be easy to forget that it was actually Nicolas Anelka’s saved effort from Edwin van der Sar that actually saw the Red Devils snatch victory away. Nevertheless, Mr. Chelsea’s slip has been forged into nearly every football fan’s memory.
A match for the football purists as Arsenal took on Barcelona back in 2006 where the neutrals were robbed of a masterpiece of a final by the madness of Gunners goalkeeper Lehmann. Before 20 minutes had even reached the clock, the German came sprinting off his line, missing the ball completely and bringing down Samuel Eto’o to become the first player to ever be sent off in a European Cup final.
Arsenal did go ahead but it was only a matter of time before Barca made their numerical advantage count with Eto’o and Belletti striking late to break Arsene Wenger’s heart. The Gunners have not reached anywhere near this stage of the Champions League ever since.
Daniel van Buyten
Jose Mourinho, having already scooped up the Scudetto and Italian Cup with Inter Milan, was on a mission to win the treble – with Bayern Munich the team standing in the way. With the Portuguese coach at the helm and a team willing to die for him, the Bavarians really stood no chance – well, Van Buyten did not stand a chance.
The Belgian was never graced with pace but Diego Milito absolutely embarrassed him with a dazzling piece of skill. The Argentine, who was world-class that year, danced past him with ease before doubling Inter’s lead to guarantee that Bayern would leave the Bernabeu empty-handed.
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