Scoring a goal is relatively easy for some players, even if they had several rivals in front and a goalkeeper trying to stop their shots. Players like Lio Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo have made everyone believe that’s an easy thing, but it’s more complicated than it looks. However, there are occasions where players had everything on their feet to score and incredibly missed the chances.

It’s very good to see players scoring beautiful goals, but it’s also funny seeing how some others, including big names, have missed an open goal in a ridiculous way. Today we’re going to discover or remember, the 10 worst failed goals in football history. Perhaps some of these will be surprising, but this is football; anything can happen.

Honorable Mention: Ramires (2012)


10. Harry Kane vs. Croatia (2018)

The best can miss, too, and here is Harry Kane to demonstrate that. The Englishman has played great for the last four or five seasons and people expected him to translate his good moments in Tottenham to the English national side and he partially did, as Kane missed one of the most incredible goals in World Cups.

It was during the semis of the tournament, where England faced the surprise of the cup, Croatia, when Harry received a pass inside the area and quickly went to the Croatian net. First, Danijel Subasic stopped his shot and the rebound went to Harry’s foot, who sent the ball to the post before the bouncing sent it out of the area. It’s fair to say that he didn’t have a good view or room to shoot the ball, but he could do so much more than that.


9. Fredrik Ljungberg vs. Bolton (2005)

This colorful Swedish player is the one who welcomes us in this top with one of the craziest fails in the last 20 years. We all know Ljungberg was and still is a big name for Arsenal’s fans, but back when this happened, everybody was pissed at the Swedish for missing such an easy goal.

During a match against Bolton in 2005, Arsenal connected a series of passes that landed the ball on French winger Robert Pires; Pires took the ball to the end of the field before passing it to Ljungberg, who was ready to just push the ball and score, but he did the exact opposite and kicked it like he was trying to clear it. Something inexplicable.


8. Yakubu Aiyegbeni vs. South Korea (2010)

Football always gives second chances but going back from missing an open goal is hard. You will be remembered for that play for many people no matter how good you play and score following that.

Here is the case of Nigerian player Yakubu Aiyegbeni, who recorded one of the worst open-goal shots in history during the 2010 FIFA World Cup. Just like Ljungberg before, Yakubu was on the middle or then rivals South Korea, but he didn’t seem ready to receive a pass from the band, so when the ball touched his right foot, he was surprised more than anything, sending the ball out of the pitch and missing a huge opportunity for his team.


7. Fernando Torres vs. Manchester United (2011)

We warned you there were going to be big names in this list and here we have another one, who even though was decreasing his level when this play took place, was still a very dangerous striker. During the 2011/12 Premier League campaign, Fernando Torres was trying to relive his old glories with Liverpool in Chelsea, but he failed big time doing so.

A game between his side and Manchester United saw one of the best plays that didn’t end well when he took the ball and headed to United’s area, when he eluded a young David De Gea to made everybody thought that was it, Torres was going to score. Unfortunately, the Kid missed the goal with no opposition in front of him, sending the ball to the side net.


6. Diego Forlan vs. Juventus (2003)

Manchester United not only watches players missing goals in front of them but has seen some of their own assets doing the same, as well. This time we’re talking about Uruguayan striker Diego Forlan, who pulled off one of the worst missed goals in the Red Devils’ history.

During a friendly match with the Italian side, Juventus, Forlan saw how Juve’s goalkeeper and one of his defenders messed up what was supposed to be a routine play. Diego saw a chance to score and he took it, stealing the ball from the Italian players and heading to the goal. Plot twist: he missed the goal and sent the ball to the lateral net, instantly realizing he just made history and not for good reasons.


5. Ronnie Rosenthal vs. Aston Villa (1992)

Here we go again with ridiculously open-net misses and we have to go back to 1992, where Ronnie Rosenthal pulled off a very good play that went downhill as he was getting closer to the rival’s goal.

Rosenthal, as a part of Liverpool, was facing Aston Villa, when the Reds’ goalkeeper sent a long-range pass to him, who took advantage of the landing of the ball and drifted away from both the defender and the goalkeeper and headed to the empty goal. Out of the numbers of things he could do, he did the hardest one and shot the ball to the crossbar, leaving everyone speechless.


4. Cristiano Ronaldo vs. Sheffield United (2006)

Cristiano Ronaldo has come a long way to become one of the deadliest strikers in the world and this spot is a big example of that. 13 years ago he was taking his first steps as a footballer but was considered one of the most promising youngsters in the world, earning good words from everybody for what he was doing with Manchester United and his national side.

However, one of the most famous moments of Cristiano Ronaldo in 2006 was his missed goal in front of an empty net. Wayne Rooney drove crazy Sheffield United’s defense before passing the ball to Ryan Giggs that gave a death pass to CR7, who intended to make a ‘classy’ goal, or that’s what we want to believe, and lifted the ball upon Sheffield’s goal, ruining a very good play.


3. Eric Choupo-Moting vs. Racing Strasbourg (2019)

This one is really crazy and it actually happened at the beginning of this month. The all-powerful Paris Saint-Germain took on Racing Strasbourg expecting to get a victory and clinch the Ligue 1 title, but they couldn’t do so. They certainly had a chance, but Cameroonian winger Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting made sure to vanish those hopes.

PSG launched an attack through the right flank that put Christopher Nkunku in a very good position to score, he shot the ball above Strasbourg’s keeper and when it was crossing the line, Choupo-Moting made his appearance as another defender and STOP the ball on the line, denying his teammates a goal that could have given PSG the victory and the title.

It’s odd to see something like this and most fans are considering now the possibility that the shot was deliberately stopped by Choupo-Moting. You can’t miss such an easy chance.


2. Ilija Sivonjic vs. Cibalia Vinkovci (2009)

Perhaps this non-goal served as inspiration for Choupo-Moting’s failure since they are very similar. However, Choupo-Moting actually stopped the ball on the line, unlike Sivonjic, who was beyond that and kind of passed it to the rival team to make the clearance.

In a game involving Sivonjic’s side, Croatian multiple-champion Dinamo Zagreb and Cibalia Vinkovci in 2009, Ilija made himself a known name at that time and probably for eternity thanks to his awful mistake. A cross was sent to a player from Dynamo and this passed the ball to our mentioned pick, who only had to put his foot and the job was done. He did that but did it the wrong way, he slipped the ball and gave it to Cibalia defender, who didn’t miss the chance to kick it away.

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1. Fahad Khalfan vs. Uzbekistan (2010)

If you believed Sivonjic’s miss was the worst in history, you’re wrong. It’s hard to believe, but there was somebody who actually did it worse than the Croatian player. Here is Fahad Khalfan, a Qatari player who made it to the book of history. Sadly for him, it wasn’t for the best reasons.

During a friendly game in 2010 between the Qatar and Uzbekistan national sides, Khalfan saw how the rival goalie couldn’t catch what appeared to be an easy pass. The ball went through his legs and Khalfan, following the play, saw an opportunity to score. He controlled the ball and actually took it to the front of the net, where he did the unthinkable and clashed the ball against the right post.

It doesn’t get any worse than this since we don’t know what can beat this miss. Fahad Khalfan made sure to be remembered forever.

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