World Football's Top 50 Bloopers from 2013
The end of another year is upon us, a year which has been filled with special talents, outrageous goalscoring, plenty of classic matches and trophies awarded to the best on the planet.
Fortunately, it's also provided us with some timeless moments of absolute buffoonery, the laughable and the downright stupid.
It's the top 50 world football bloopers of 2013!
Before We Even Begin....
Here's a bonus for you before we even get into the 50! As pointed out by early eagle-eyed readers Bill and Hari, Stefan Kiessling scored a "ghost goal" earlier in the year.
Sending an effort into the side netting and through a tear in the net, the referee then awarded Kiessling the goal in a 2-2 draw between Bayer Leverkusen and Hoffenheim.
Let's start in England, where Hull City's owner Assem Allam is pressing ahead with plans to have the club's name officially changed, to Hull Tigers.
While that might not seem so bad to you, he's pretty much doing it against the will of every single lifelong supporter of the club—and even told critics they could "go and die as soon as they want." Nice touch.
Sepp Blatter on Ronaldo
As head of the entire football world, you'd like to think someone would tell Sepp Blatter to keep his ill-formed judgements to himself and not show any hint of potential bias or preference. Unfortunately, Blatter has a long history of being unable to restrain his tongue.
Earlier in the year he claimed Cristiano Ronaldo "had more expenses for the hairdresser" than Leo Messi, who he referred to simply as a "good boy" by way of comparison.
Later, the head of FIFA was forced into a rather embarassing public apology on Twitter.
Hodgson and Manaus' Mayor
A relatively innocuous comment from England manager Roy Hodgson escalated into something rather more than it should have been after he selected Manaus as the region he didn't want his team to have to play in at the World Cup.
The mayor of the region then told England they weren't welcome and labelled Hodgson not "sensible and polite."
Obviously, later, England were draw to play one of their group stage games...in Manaus.
Players on Twitter (and Other Social Media!): Phil Bardsley
Twitter's great, isn't it? All social media, in fact. Instant communication with the players and oodles of opportunity for them to make a bit of a mess of things and be filled with regret five seconds later. By which time, it's been retweeted around the world, obviously.
Here's the first of several players we'll be including for social media-based shenanigans, Sunderland's Phil Bardsley.
Having been left out of the team at the start of the season, he "celebrated" the Black Cat's dismal loss by openly laughing on Instagram under a picture posted of him by a fan.
The Signing of Andy Carroll
Remember this man?
Andy Carroll became West Ham's record signing when he joined them in the summer for £15 million—but he hasn't played for them since.
Four months on, he's still recovering from a foot injury; it's not clear what the biggest blooper was, actually spending that amount on him while injured, misdiagnosing how long he'd be out for or the chairman admitting he made a mistake by shelling out for the big striker.
The Dream Football League
Sometimes, the media get things wrong. And sometimes the things they get wrong are huge. It happens, and hopefully not on purpose.
The least they can do is apologise and rectify the mistake—just the situation The Times were faced with earlier in the year when they reported on the Dream Football League (DFL) which would see megarich Qataris offer clubs far, far more money than the Champions League does, to take part in lucrative matches around the globe.
Alas, it turned out, there was no such plan, no such financial backers involved and indeed no real, relevant, verifiable information at all. It was a big mistake from the paper which they held their hands up to shortly afterwards.
Pellegrini Miscalculates Goals to Finish Top
Back to on-pitch matters and one of the most recent miscalculations.
Manchester City went into the final match day of the Champions League against Bayern Munich needing to win by two goals to finish top of the group—or so thought boss Manuel Pellegrini.
In fact, a 4-2 win would have been sufficient for his team, but he passed up the opportunity to go all-out-attack while 3-2 up, believing his side were too far behind to finish top.
As such, City finished second—and drew Barcelona in the knock-out stage.
Wilshere Decides What Constitutes Nationalities
"The only people who should play for England are English people," said Jack Wilshere back in October, apparently not taking into account that the likes of Wilfried Zaha and Raheem Sterling, members of the squad alongside the Arsenal man at the time, were not born in the country.
His comments sparked a bit of debate on whether Manchester United's Adnan Januzaj should be considered for the England national team or not—despite the midfielder himself not having shown any inclination of sorts to do so.
Suarez Gets Hungry Mid-Game
Luis Suarez is blazing a trail of goals and destruction this season, but at the end of last year it was merely self-destruction that he managed.
The Uruguayan forward was banned for 10 games for biting Branislav Ivanovic of Chelsea, thus ending his own season early.
Referee Under the Influence
Here's one of the more random stories from the bowels of the English game this season.
An FA Trophy game between Colwyn Bay and Altrincham had to be abandoned with seven minutes left to play, after the referee suffered a calf injury.
There was no fourth official and so a member of the crowd—a qualified referee—was asked to step up, only for Colwyn Bay to refuse his services after claiming he had been drinking and smelled of alcohol! Needless to say, they were 2-0 down at the time...
Arturo Vidal Dives, Falls, Fails and Cries Foul
What's going on here Arturo lad?!
Juventus' Chilean midfielder Arturo Vidal caught himself an epic case of Platoon in a Champions League game recently, as he lost his footing/balance/perspective of gravity and went crashing to ground inside the box.
Somehow, he seemed to want a penalty for it!
Players on Twitter: Saido Berahino
Back to Twitter.
West Brom's promising young forward Saido Berahino tweeted an explicit rant just a few minutes after it emerged that manager Steve Clarke had been sacked...before deleting it shortly afterwards.
Then, he randomly claimed his earlier tweet was because of a flat tyre...and posted a picture to showcase it.
Then deleted that too.
Goalkeeping Blunders... Starting with Scott Carson
Here's a batch of howlers from that fallible last line of defence we call the goalkeeper.
First up it's a game in Turkey from early in the year, way back in January in fact, where Scott Carson was in action for Bursaspor.
Judging by the goal he conceded, he might as well not have been.
He might be rated as one of the best young goalkeepers in the game, but Thibaut Courtois had a bit of a 'mare in European action as he completely misjudged where the ball would end up.
It's credited as a Toby Alderweireld own goal, but it's pretty much all of Courtois' making.
Goalkeepers love to think they're great on the ball, and some are, but some are, well, rather not.
Here's Roman Weidenfeller of Borussia Dortmund under no pressure, before he attempts to take on a player, lose the ball, concede a penalty and then be beaten by it. Oops.
Viktoria Plzen's 'Stopper'
Another poor defender at the mercy of his lunatic goalkeeper now, with Viktoria Plzen's stopper Matus Kozacik in impressive foot-loss form.
Taking his mind off the ball, the game, the entire planet perhaps.
Oh dear. Oh dear. Oh dear.
Robbin Ruiter, Utrecht
Another goalkeeper who forgets that most basic of footballing abilities...to connect ball to foot.
This time it's Robbin Ruiter of Utrecht against FC Twente. He does his level best to give the attacker, Edouard Duplan, the easiest chance anybody has ever had in the history of the game and, to be fair to the forward, he snaffles it up nicely.
CFR Cluj vs Guarin
It's one thing to be a goalkeeper who can't use his feet, but what is one who can't use his hands supposed to be good at?
Missing your hold on the ball, flopping around like a dying fish and presenting Fredy Guarin with an easy chance to score...not the best idea. That's Mario Felgueiras, by the way, in goal for the Romanians.
Wes Brown's Red Card
Let's leave the goalkeepers alone now and get back to more moments of questionable judgement.
First up it's the ludicrously awarded red card to Sunderland's Wes Brown, subsequently overturned when a post-game panel realised he had taken nothing but the ball in a challenge on Charlie Adam.
Kevin Friend was the overzealous ref who initially handed him the straight red.
Wilshere Gives the Finger
Wilshere is currently about to serve a two-match suspension for Arsenal for giving a middle finger sign to Manchester City fans as his team were beaten 6-3.
With Suarez already having served a suspension for a similar incident around one year ago, the Gunners midfielder should have known that punishment would be swift to follow.
He'll miss games against Chelsea and West Ham.
Spurs Sack AVB...but Continue to Name Him Boss!
Spurs decided to axe Andre Villas-Boas from his manager's job after the 5-0 home defeat to Liverpool—but somehow overlooked writing him out of the matchday programme for their next game.
He was named as head coach in the programme for the midweek cup tie against West Ham United, which Tim Sherwood was actually in charge for. Spurs lost that game, too.
Vincent Tan in General
What's going on at Cardiff? Instead of celebrating being in the Premier League and pulling together to try and survive, the club lurches from one incident to another.
The latest is owner Vincent Tan telling his promotion-winning manager, Malky Mackay, to either quit—or face the sack.
Cardiff's owner seemingly has taken issue with a number of points including Mackay's transfers, playing style and results...despite all of those having gotten the team to the top flight in the first place.
Non-League Nonsense from Chelmsford
Back to the videos!
Here's a horror show of a free kick from Sam Corcoran, playing for Chelmsford, as he inadvertently sets up the opposition for a goal of their own.
Joe Hart's had a bit of a 'mare here against Southampton, one of his earlier mishaps from 2013 which have eventually led to him losing his place in the Manchester City team.
Steven Davis was the grateful recipient on this occasion, but Hart's had more than one blooper over the last 12 months.
Blooper from Bosnia
Here we go. Horrible pitch, dreadful goalkeeping decision to race out, open goal with loads of time to spare.
We're reliably informed this takes place in Bosnia-Herzegovina.
Gillingham Captain Leading by Example
Just to prove that anything amateurs can do, professionals can do equally laughably, here's Gillingham's captain Adam Barrett thundering in to finish off a fine knock-down from a yard out.
El-Arabi Offers His Contender for Miss of the Season
Over to Spain and Granada's Youssef El-Arabi, who managed to overrun the ball with an open goal at his mercy from just a few yards out—then still get a shot away...and hit the post.
He left it late, but that miss from mid-December is definitely a candidate for miss of the year.
Porto's Double Act
Eliaquim Mangala and Jackson Martinez have been heavily scouted by all and sundry over the past few months and here they show everything in their powers to turn off potential suitors.
After smartly beating the offside trap they combine to produce a series of floundering, scrappy, desperate attempts to force the ball over the line, in a challenge doomed to ultimate failure.
There Are No Words
Some goals are just too ridiculous to even begin to describe. Here's a completely rubbish attempt at defending from everyone involved.
Jump to 1:20 for the madness to begin between Lyubimets and Levski.
Another Harrad Miss
It's Bristol Rovers vs. Bury and that can mean only one thing...another horrendous miss from close range!
Shaun Harrad is the guilty party this time, spooning over from two yards with a completely open goal.
This season he has precisely no league goals. Perhaps it should have been one. Jump to 0:30 for the chance.
World Cup Qualifier Own Goal
Everyone loves a thumping strike into the top corner, but how do you go about doing it into your own net?
Vasilis Torosidis was credited with the o.g. in the end but after a dozen views, it's still hard to tell if this goes in off the defender who kicks it initially, off both of them or some entirely different form of physics.
This came in the World Cup playoff between Romania and Greece—but Greece triumphed in the end anyway.
Daniele Dessena's Dreadful Drive
Here's a corker. One of the best shots you'll ever see...in terms of being utterly pathetic, of course.
This wouldn't look out of place at a pub game. When all the players were drunk. And blindfolded.
Nice one, Daniele Dessena.
Launching a Quick Attack Not Always the Way to Go
Here's a game from an unknown location in Africa from early November, where the goalkeeper decides that he'll launch a quick counter attack for his team.
Unfortunately all he does is launch it hilariously into the backside of one of his defenders, with the usual obvious outcome. You have to love the way they all just collapse to the ground as one.
Chris Wood Following in as All Good Strikers Should
It's not only in the furthest reaches of the world that you might see such an incident; here's former Arsenal stopper Manuel Almunia booting the ball straight into the face of Chris Wood, who scores for Leicester City.
The side-angle view with Wood's face snapping back in surprise is arguably one of the replays of the season.
Wenger vs. Zip
Remember Balotelli vs. Bib?
Well, here's the managerial equivalent of man's continual struggle against his sporting apparel.
Lose Teeth, Get Booked
You may remember this crazy challenge from earlier in the year.
Gaspar Iniguez opted to go head first into this challenge and ended up losing three teeth in the brave, but probably foolish tackle.
He was also booked for it being late!
What a Goal! Oh
Way to make yourself an instant hero with fans: Score a 25-yard volley on your debut.
Way to make yourself an instant villain with fans: Do it at the wrong end of the pitch.
Step up, Mathias Doumbe.
Madness in Moldova
Skip to 2:45 for this one—a fantastic piece of non-goalkeepery from a match between Rapid and Dinamo Auto.
The keeper seems to be called Evgheni Hmaruc, but really, does it matter? It's the action we want to see.
We head to Asia now and an altogether unexplainable gaffe of an own goal at the National Games of China.
Xinjiang are the culpable side here, somehow doing all the hard work for their opponents from a position of pretty much no danger at all on the right side of the penalty area.
Spurs Should Have Known...
Right, enough of the dregs of World football, these last 10 slides are all about the top names in the game.
Here's Roberto Soldado earlier in the year, still at Valencia, managing to miss from barely a couple of steps before the goal line.
Hasn't gotten much better for him since joining Tottenham.
Parker Doesn't Get Many
Here's one of the misses of last season as Scott Parker contrives to tap wide from a few yards out and with no goalkeeper to stop him scoring.
This miss came in the Europa League against Basel.
Silvestre's Slide into MLS
Mikael Silvestre used to ply his trade for the top teams in Europe. He doesn't anymore.
Here's his debut for Portland in the MLS, where he was directly involved in three goals in a dreadful defeat.
An over-hit and spilled back-pass, a strange, mistimed attempt to control a bouncing ball and finally losing his marker at the far post all meant a bad start for Silvestre.
Match Fixing Doesn't Pay
Every year seems to bring up a new bout of match fixing and most recently it's been associated with the game in England.
DJ Campbell was one player questioned by police following an investigation.
Whoever was involved, it's likely to mean the end of their careers if proven. Pretty much qualifies as a big mistake.
Jackson Martinez Panenka Fail
Panenka penalties look great, cool and collected when pulled off correctly.
When they go wrong, however, the player in question merely looks like a half-assed showboating berk.
Jackson Martinez found that out the hard way.
Alexandre Pato Gets It Even More Wrong
Players probably shouldn't do Panenkas unless they can actually do them.
Pato gets his horribly wrong here in the Copa do Brasil...and sends his team out in the process, having missed the decisive spot kick in the penalty shoot-out.
Shane Long for England!
Shane Long put in a match-winning display for West Brom against Aston Villa in November, immediately leading to calls from his fans for him to be called up to the England squad.
Great idea...except for the fact he's Irish.
And scored against England at Wembley only a few months previous.
Odemwingie in the January Transfer Window
The January transfer window can do strange things to people. Take Peter Odemwingie, for example, who decided he wanted to join Harry Redknapp's motley crew of miscreants last winter, destined for relegation.
He tweeted, ranted and drove to QPR—only to be locked out as QPR hadn't agreed terms with his club, West Brom, to be allowed to discuss terms with the forward. He ended up with a nice big fine, too.
Eden Hazard's Moment of Madness
Jason Puncheon... He Went For...err....! (No Volume If Easily Offended!)
And finally, we finish up with an incident where Jason Puncheon had to suddenly rush off the field while playing for Southampton against Everton way back in January of 2013.
His reappearance spawned a spontaneous outburst of song from the crowd as to exactly what the winger had gotten up to in his impromptu disappearance, to much hilarity all round!