There’s beauty in scoring a “worldie.” There have been countless great goals throughout the course of soccer history, all worthy of recognition. But what happens when said goal is in the wrong net?
Now that’s special. Own goals are probably the most embarrassing thing that can happen to a person ever, and here are five of the absolute best.
Juan Pablo Angel, Aston Villa vs. Tottenham, 2006
This own goal is impressive, but the context in which it happened is baffling. I have watched a lot of soccer in my lifetime, and over the course of hours wasted (as a Liverpool fan), I have never seen a player more aggressively booed by his own fans than Aston Villa’s Juan Pablo Angel.
The Colombian international received the adulation of Villa fans upon signing with the club in 2000, but things went downhill very quickly. This game against Tottenham was the epitome of his struggles. In the 80th minute Angel won a penalty, and looked certain to bury it to snag a win for the home side. Instead, he blasted the ball five yards over the bar. Three minutes later, Angel decided to help defend a Tottenham corner at the other end, and did what he had failed to do for the first 83 minutes: bury a chance. However, he did it in the wrong net.
Fun fact: I was actually at that game, sitting about four rows behind the goal. I say this because I was closer to Angel than any Tottenham player at the time. I learned some new words from Aston Villa fans that day.
Santiago Vergini, Sunderland vs. Southampton, 2015
Sunderland weren’t very good then, and they still aren’t now. Relegated last year, the Black Cats have had it rough for a while now, but that possibly can be all traced back to this moment. Playing Southampton on the road is never easy, so it’s not smart to make life more difficult for yourself. “Hold my beer,” said Santiago Vergini.
Oh yeah, they also lost 8-0.
Cristoph Kramer, Borussia Mönchengladbach vs. Borussia Dortmund, 2014
As a Brit, I never thought I’d say this: I feel sorry for a German soccer player. To say that Cristoph Kramer had a rough 2014 would be an understatement. He started the World Cup final, but was knocked out in the first half, so he doesn’t remember much of the German victory. To compound that he came up with this legendary lob three months later.
Mickael Roche, Nadi vs AS Tefana, 2016
Don’t lie to yourself, you have no idea who this man is. Neither do I, really. All I know is that Roche came up with the most bizarre own goal of all time. I’ve watched this countless times and still cannot figure out what he was thinking. It takes talent to screw something up as badly as this, and for that, the Tahitian must be commended.
Djimi Traore, Liverpool vs. Burnley, 2005
This one just gives me PTSD. I’ve seen a lot of bad Liverpool fullbacks over the years (shoutout Alberto Moreno, Alvaro Arbeloa, Fabio Aurelio, Paul Konchesky, Andrea Dossena, and Emiliano Insua), but none have been as laughably bad as Djimi Traore. He seemed adamant to make my life slightly more difficult every time he stepped on the pitch, and on this cold January night, he did just that. To be fair, the finish is world class.