Corinthians’ goalkeeper’s moment of genius – by LETTING a free-kick into his goal – is the latest eccentric moment from a shot-stopper… From scorpion kicks to penalty antics, here’s the best of the rest
After Cassio Ramos’ moment of genius for Corinthians last week, there is plenty of discussion about some of football’s most eccentric goalkeeping moments.
The Corinthians goalkeeper put in a remarkable display of quick thinking during his side’s draw against Atletico Mineiro in the Brazilian Serie A.
Mineiro was awarded a free kick halfway through Corinthians’ half and the ball was clicked towards goal. Cassio looked ready to take the ball, but at the last moment he jumped aside to let it go straight into his goal.
It was a moment of genius from the Brazilian, who realized that it was an indirect free kick. Indirect free kick rules prohibit one player from shooting directly at goal.
And so, in the wake of Cassio’s brilliant bit of improvisation, Mailsport takes a look at some of the most iconic and eccentric goalkeeping incidents.
Corinthians’ Cassio produced a remarkable display of quick thinking during his side’s draw
The Brazilian shot-stopper deliberately let a free kick go straight into his goal during the match
Scorpion kick by Rene Higuita
Rene Higuita’s scorpion kick for Colombia against England during a friendly in 1995 may be the most eccentric thing a goalkeeper has ever done.
It is a moment that has left an indelible mark on football folklore, with many claiming this is the first time a scorpion kick has been performed in a competitive football match.
During the match at Wembley 28 years ago, Higuita did the unthinkable and, as he dealt with Jamie Redknapp’s cross, jumped into the air, put his legs above his head and kicked the ball away with his heels.
Fans, players and coaches were stunned by the incident, which was undoubtedly the highlight of Higuita’s career.
The other most notable aspect of his career came when he missed out on a place in the 1994 World Cup squad after being sent to prison for acting as an intermediary in a kidnapping case.
Rene Higuita performing his famous ‘scorpion kick’ during Colombia’s friendly match with England at Wembley in 1995
Higuita made the daring save as Jamie Redknapp’s cross floated towards his goal at Wembley
Harald Schumacher eliminates Patrick Battiston
It’s been just over 40 years since this incident took place, but you’d still be hard-pressed to find a more reckless moment of goalkeeping in football history.
During a World Cup match between France and West Germany, Patrick Battiston was left on the ground after colliding with the onrushing Harald Schumacher.
After a delicate through ball from Michel Platini, Battiston raced onto the pass in the penalty area, long ahead of the German keeper, but blasted his effort wide of the goal.
The FC Köln goalkeeper had plenty of time to brake, but instead jumped into the air, twisted his body and hit the Frenchman’s face at high speed.
In a horrible twist of fate, Schumacher got away with it completely, purely because the attack came so late that everyone following the ball missed it.
No foul, penalty or even a yellow card was given. Instead, Dutch referee Charles Corver signaled a goal kick.
Forty years have passed since Frenchman Patrick Battison (L) was knocked out by West German goalkeeper Harald Schumacher at the 1982 World Cup.
The attack on the pitch remains one of the most sickening fouls in World Cup history
Grobbelaar’s wobbly legs
Before there was Jerzy Dudek, there was Bruce Grobbelaar.
The former Liverpool goalkeeper made history after developing the ‘spaghetti legs’ routine during Liverpool’s 1984 European Cup final against Roma.
The South African shot-stopper performed the now iconic antics to ensure Graziani and Bruno Conti missed their crucial penalties on the night.
Speaking to Mail Sport in 2018, Grobbelaar reflected on the incident, saying: ‘He (manager Joe Fagan) put his arm around me and quietly said a word.
“He told me, ‘Look boy, you had a great match. Me and the coaches and the chairman and the directors and the captain and the team and the 10,000 Liverpool fans won’t blame you now if you don’t. stop the ball from 12 meters…”
‘As I walked away feeling much better, he shouted after me: “…but make sure you try to delay them”.
“The two players I chose to do what I had to do against were proven Italian internationals, not ordinary players,” he says. ‘Bruno Conti picked up the ball and started dancing along the line (of Roma players) and that touched me.
‘He was all jumpy. I just stood on the line and did the legs. He stopped dancing. He put the ball down on the penalty spot.
And I did the legs again. He placed it right over the top.
Then I thought, ‘Hmm, this might work.’
Bruce Grobbelaar performed the ‘spaghetti legs’ against Roma in the 1995 European Cup final
Rogério Ceni’s incredible goals
There are not many goalkeepers who are also good goalscorers, but most goalkeepers were not like Rogerio Ceni.
The Brazilian shot-stopper is known as a Sao Paulo legend and not just because he has surpassed the all-time record with 1,237 appearances for the club.
During his illustrious playing career, Ceni also made a name for himself by becoming one of their most reliable goalscorers during his 23-year spell at the club.
The goalkeeper eventually became a reliable penalty and free kick taker for Sao Paulo and managed to score no fewer than 131 goals in his career.
This number brings Ceni to tenth place on the list of all-time top scorers for the Brazilian club. An incredible achievement for someone whose duties are often on the other side of the field.
Sao Paulo legend Rogerio Ceni scored more than 100 goals in his career despite being a goalkeeper
Paulo Gazzaniga’s kung fu kick
Finally we have an entry for the modern football fans.
In December 2019, during Chelsea’s league trip to Tottenham, the hosts’ goalkeeper performed a move later described as an ‘attack’ by Sky Sports’ Gary Neville.
With Chelsea leading 1-0 thanks to a goal from Willian, Spurs’ Paulo Gazzaniga raced forward and ended up crashing into Chelsea defender Marcos Alonso.
Strangely, referee Anthony Taylor initially punished Alonso for the incident, with Tottenham being awarded a free kick, but VAR was then consulted.
Ultimately, however, the decision was overturned, with Chelsea awarded a penalty and Gazzaniga shown a yellow card.
Willian took the penalty and eventually got the better of Gazzaniga to make it 2-0.
Tottenham goalkeeper Paulo Gazzaniga crashed into Chelsea defender Marcos Alonso
Anthony Taylor gave a free kick against Alonso, but the decision was overturned by VAR
Joe Hart kicks billboards
In 2014, Joe Hart let his frustration get the better of him when he kicked a billboard during England’s 2-1 defeat to Italy.
In the video below you can see the England goalkeeper running behind his goal late in the second half to collect the ball after Andrea Pirlo’s stunning free-kick fell off the crossbar for a goal kick.
Manchester City stopper Hart shouts for the ball as he tries to restart play as quickly as possible but ends up furiously hitting an electronic board.
The 27-year-old had hoped to make a decisive late move for the Three Lions as they hunted for an equalizer at the Arena da Amazonia after falling behind to Mario Balotelli’s header.
You can hear Hart shouting, “Hey, hey, hey.” Give me the damn ball, probably to a ball boy behind the goal, before you swing.
Roy Hodgson’s No.1 emerged from the incident unscathed, but he could have injured his right foot given the force of the kick.
Emiliano Martinez’s penalty mind games
If you think back to December last year, you’ll remember how Aston Villa’s Emiliano Martinez riled up the fan bases of multiple countries for his World Cup antics.
Against the Netherlands, the Argentine shot-stopper repeatedly performed dance moves after preventing the opponent from scoring during a penalty shoot-out.
And he did the same when his side took on France in the tournament’s grand final, jumping three times and punching the air before telling Argentina supporters to make more noise after denying Kingsley Coman from the spot.
Not to mention the Alan Pardew-esque dance after Aurelien Tchouameni’s miss.
Before the Real Madrid midfielder’s penalty, Martinez was also seen throwing the ball in an attempt to provoke his French counterpart.
The Aston Villa goalkeeper danced away after seeing Tchouameni’s penalty fly wide