April Fool’s Day, as we all know, is a day all about trying to make those around you look like a fool. In honor of that spirit, I decided to take a quick look at a couple of plays from the past few weeks where goalkeepers were made to look the fool by their opponent.
Manuel Neuer, Bayern Munich against Borussia Mönchengladbach
It’s not often that the best goalkeeper in the world looks like a fool, but that was the case in Bayern Munich’s last match against Borussia Mönchengladbach.
Right around the half hour mark of the first half, Gladbach’s Raffael put a weak shot on target that should have been handled easily by Neuer. Inexplicably, the German keeper fumbles the shot through his legs, and allows the ball to trickle across the goal line, giving the visitors a 1-0 lead.
Amazingly, Neuer pretends as though the ball never crosses the line, attempting to fool the officials. It was not to be, as the goal counted, and Mönchengladbach went on to defeat Bayern 2-0.
Rogério Ceni, São Paulo, against Palmeiars
Again, another very talented goalie getting played the fool, this time in an important match against his cross-town rivals. São Paulo’s Rogério Ceni is one of the best keepers in Brazil today, even at the age of 42. However, in a recent Paulistão match against Palmeiras, he came a little too far off his line, and paid for it thanks to an incredible strike from Robinho.
Too often, Ceni, much like Neuer, ventures off his line a bit too far, and on this occasion, Robinho made him pay. Yes, there is no doubt that the strike from the Palmeiras man was fantastic, but Ceni should not have put himself in such a position to be caught off guard in the first place.
Palmeiras would go on to win the match 3-0. Ceni, however, would bounce back the following weekend scoring his 126th career goal (yes, you read that right 126 career goals for a goalie, Ceni is a magician on free kicks) in a 3-0 win against Linense.
Ilie Cebanu, Moldova against Sweden
Finally, a crazy play from Euro 2016 qualifying this weekend between Moldova and Sweden. There is no doubt that Zlatan Ibrahimovic is an incredible goal-scorer, capable of scoring the most incredible of goals, but even he had to have been surprised by this one.
Ilie Cebanu, the Moldavian goalkeeper, attempts to clear the ball downfield, but fails to get the ball over the massive frame of Ibrahimovic. The ball glances off of Ibra’s head, and incredibly finds its way into the back of the net.
While some pundits have argued that Zlatan somehow anticipated the clearance and put himself into position to score, I would simply argue that he just happened to be in the right place at the right time to score one of the craziest goals of his career.
The goal was the first of the night for Sweden, who thanks to a penalty scored by Ibrahimovic won the match 2-0.