10. Premature Celebration
When Termeno’s Michael Palma lashed his penalty against the crossbar in an Italian seventh division relegation playoff shootout, goalkeeper Loris Angeli dashed from his line in ecstasy. But then the ball returned from the sky – well outside the six-yard-box – spun backwards and bounced and bounced. By the time it crossed the line, Angeli was on his knees by the touchline offering thanks. When he turned around, he was in the market for a new God.
9. Baise of glory
Remember Gareth Southgate’s reaction when Basel’s Markus Steinhoefer volleyed off his own crossbar against United? Gareth reckoned it would have been the best own-goal of all time. Imagine then his reaction had he seen Festus Baise of Hong Kong side Citizen AA jack-knife through the air at the edge of his own penalty area to fire an overhead backheel into the top corner of his own goal. Will never be bettered.
8. Hard to break down
In a trickier test than they face most weeks in Spain, a Real Madrid XI took on 109 kids – the club is 109 years old – in GuangZhou, China. Despite lining up with 40 across the back, the youngsters paid the price for playing a high line and lost 2-1.
7. Smash and grab
“Did you smash it?” “You definitely smashed it!” Richard Keys unzipped his inner David Brent again and tossed away his TV career.
6. Spot of bother
Amir Sayoud of Egyptian champs Ahly produced the worst penalty kick in living memory – and got booked for his trouble. Having sauntered up to spot, Amir attempted to sell a dummy but he was the only buyer, stumbling and scuffing a shot that just reached the goal. Cue goalkeeping amusement and a yellow card from the referee for unsporting conduct.
5. Might have been a bobble
This howler from a non-league Veneuzelan game was arguably the worst of the many Worst Misses of All Time last year.
4. Heel be missed
It was a year for penalty spot shenanigans as United Arab Emirates’ substitute Awana Diab cheekily backheeled a late spotter in a 7-2 win over Lebannon. Tragically, this story had a sad twist, as Diab was killed in car crash in September.
3. Black swan
The moment simulation had beaten football. Brazilian referee Rodrigo Nunes de Sa dishes out a red card, then when the recipient leans a little too close to complain, he hits the deck in a manner Paul Alcock and Paolo di Canio will remember well.
2. Brothers in arms
This old HIV Awareness advert featuring Ryan Giggs got a new lease of life when a certain story hit the headlines last May. The tagline – \’Brothers For Life’.
The first of many magic moments from Mario Balotelli this year came before last season’s Europa League tie with Dynamo Kiev, when he struggled mightily to figure out two separate training bibs. To give himself half a chance of getting dressed again before security locked up, Mario got himself sent off after half an hour.