The poetic Peter Drury once said a legend needs a flaw to make the narrative complete. We’re going to revisit some career slip-ups committed by the likes of Steven Gerrard, John Terry, Zinedine Zidane, David Beckham and Roberto Baggio.
Photo Copyright – Steve Haag Sports
Roberto Baggio’s Penalty Miss
The moment that will haunt the legendary Italian for the rest of his life came in the 1994 FIFA World Cup final against Brazil. Baggio had been named the FIFA World Player of the Year in 1993 which made him the centre of attention in the world greatest soccer spectacle the following year.
The tournament decider pitted them against the Samba Boys and neither side could break the deadlock after two hours of football and it was down to the lottery of penalties. With Brazil leading 3-2, Baggio stepped up to take his country’s last penalty to level matter but he ballooned it over the bar much to everyone’s amazement.
Zinedine Zidane Head-butting Marco Materazzi
“Zizou” has won every trophy he’s competed in but there’s one dark moment that will remain memorable to his fans for the rest of their lives. The Frenchman had scored the opener which was cancelled out by Materazzi in the 2006 World Cup final against Italy and he couldn’t control his temper in the extra time of the game that was destined for a penalty shootout.
In an of the ball incident, Materazzi had some choice words for the superstar who reacted by turning around and head-butting him in the chest, sending him flying on the ground. The incident was spotted by one of the assistant referees and Zidane was sent off. France would go on to lose the match on penalties and most people blamed Zidane’s temper for the defeat.
David Beckham Kicking Diego Simeone
Becks might have retired as a hero but this moment saw fans directed a great deal of abuse towards him which included hanging his effigy from a pub in South Norwood, Croydon. This iconic figure who ended up captaining England was blamed for his country’s elimination from the 1998 FIFA World Cup tournament by Argentina.
The highly-intense game was locked at 2-2 when Diego Simeone landed a heavy challenge on Beckham who reacted by kicking out at the Argentine while lying on the floor in front of the referee. England had to play on with 10 men from the 47th to the 120th minute in a game most people believe they could have won if the numerical inferiority wasn’t a factor. Argentina won the match on penalties to advance to the quarterfinal stage.
John Terry’s Slip
The 2008 UEFA Champions League final will be remembered as the very first all-English affair as Chelsea came up against Manchester United. The game ended 1-1 after 120 minutes and a penalty shootout ensued.
Cristiano Ronaldo had missed one of Manchester’s penalties and who better to step up to take the very last penalty which would hand the Blues the trophy than their captain John Terry. The defender, however, lost his footing when he was about to kick the ball and his shot struck the outside of the post and went wide. That resulted in a sudden death which the Red Devils won.
Steven Gerrard’s Slip Against Chelsea
This must be Stevie’s most heart-breaking moment ever as his team topped the English Premier League standing with three games remaining and he committed a terrible blunder in the game against Chelsea. Gerrard received a back pass from a teammate and he slipped while trying to trap the ball which allowed Chelsea’s Demba Ba to pounce and score an easy goal. That moment put eventual winners who had been in second place, Manchester City in the league title race driving seat.