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The beautiful game is littered with ugly mistakes and embarrassing moments that can make so many famous for all the wrong reasons, even those of the calibre of Fernando Torres.
Missing those sitters could be the difference between promotion and relegation, silverware and an empty cabinet as doing something as simple as placing the ball between the posts becomes the world's most difficult task.
Some can't deal with the immense pressure through fear of the repercussions, some too complacent and others are just unlucky. Or maybe they're simply rubbish.
There's nowhere to hide.
Arguably the most famous miss in football history saw Ronny Rosenthal clean through on goal after a route one clearance. With defenders and goalkeeper bypassed, the Israeli faced nothing but an open goal but managed to toe-poke the ball against the bar instead of into the gaping net.
A 0-0 Arsenal Champions League goal-miss master class saw a blistering Thierry Henry run split the Moscow defence before finding the night's Czech scapegoat, Tomas Rosicky, who delivered a pin-point pass into the hands of the sitting CSKA keeper from a colossal three yards.
Infamous pro turned pundit, Gareth Southgate, will be sure to keep his opinions to himself when the subject of penalties arises. It was five goals a-piece in the shoot-out when he limply stroked the ball to German keeper, Andreas Kopke, gifting the Germans a place in the final of Euro 96.
Responsible for one of the greatest FA Cup goals of all time, Ryan Giggs attempted to emulate that devastating run when the sides met in the fifth round in 2003, rounding the Arsenal keeper, dancing past Martin Keown and Sol Campbell and sublimely floating the ball over the open goal for one lucky fan to catch.
Hard work isn't always rewarded as Steven Gerrard will testify. The Liverpool captain gave a driving run down the right wing during their 2006/7 Premier League encounter, brilliantly deceiving Tottenham's Assou-Ekotto before firing across the box to a waiting Craig Bellamy who curled the ball painfully away from the gaping net and onto the post.
What could have been one of the most ingenious, rule-bending goals of all time morphed into a feeble, stud-grazing pass as, back in 2005, Robert Pires attempted to lay on Thierry Henry from the spot, leaving both the Gunners legends with egg on their faces and recognition as the weakest penalty to ever grace the game.
Having cunningly used his calf to send the ball wide of the goal earlier in the game, Cristiano Ronaldo found himself in acres of space from a Wayne Rooney cross back in 2006, only to lift the ball safely over the Sheffield United goal; the winger managing to spit on himself afterwards for his trouble.
It's agonising; every time you see it you believe, this time, it will go in but it never does. The brutal reality of hindsight dictates those Euro 96 penalties could have been avoided if only Gazza's miss-timed outstretched leg could have ended with the ball in the net instead of him.
It would be a difficult skill to chip the ball of the bar when you're standing on the goal-line but Kanu, being the talent he is, achieved such a feat. Having stealthily crept his way to the far post ahead of a packed Middlesbrough back four during 2004, the Nigerian striker simply needed to tap in only to clear the bar with real finesse.
A distinctly non-lethal strike force; Gudjohnsen viscously struck the post, the ball bouncing out to the feet of Frenchman Ludavic Giuly who, presented with the goal at his mercy, showed his defensive nouse, side-footing well wide.
Do you think the Torres gaffe is in the same league as these footballing nightmares? Let us know using the form below
massive miss, probebley the biggest miss ever in todays modern game. but what makes it worse is who it is and where it is.. Fernando Torres fifty million pound stricker,Old Trafford...if you have to miss an open goal you might as well do it on one of the games biggest stages to a world wide audiance...
Posted 16:31 20th September 2011
Peter Van Vossen v Celtic. Missed an open goal from 8 yards. Decided it was better to attempt a conversion.... but it wasnt Rugby. Epic Fail !
Posted 14:47 20th September 2011
What about Chris Iwelumo for Scotland v Norway?
Posted 14:19 20th September 2011
This was an awful miss, by a fantastic player (albeit one off form). Although there are differences a) he was clearly off balance & b) was on his much versed-of 'weaker' foot. So let's not put it in the same category as Ronny Rosenthal - his legendary miss remains the GREATEST miss of all time! Nevertheless, Torres, for £50mill - we deserve a lot better, sort it out Amigo.
Posted 13:20 20th September 2011
Rocky Baptiste needs a mention, not a high profile game but the worst miss I have ever seen
Posted 11:58 20th September 2011
I remember Steve Bruce putting one over the bar with an open net from three yards, luckily United were already 3 nil up against Reading some years ago!
Posted 00:38 20th September 2011
How has Diego Forlan been left out of this list?
Posted 19:09 19th September 2011
Hey, what about Yakubu's miss for Nigeria against South Korea in the FIFA World Cup 2010 group stage? That should be top of the list. Had that donkey scored, Nigeria would've qualified for the last 16 and would've not left Ghana alone.
Posted 19:02 19th September 2011
None of these are as worse as Yakubu's miss for Nigeria V S.Korea - World Cup 2010. I still have nightmares!!!
Posted 18:56 19th September 2011
Infact Torres miss falls among the top three.
Posted 18:24 19th September 2011
i love how when u do these kinda lists you never look beyond anyone with an english connection. straight of the top of my head- roberto baggio usa 94 pen or p.v.vossen rangers v celtic thats with 2 seconds of thought. sort it out!!!
Posted 18:00 19th September 2011
Just wanted to point out that had the Henry/Pires miss been a goal it would not have been "the most ingenious, rule-bending goals of all time", it would only be an imitation of Cruyff's genius goal =)
Posted 17:08 19th September 2011
Fernado Torres is a nighmare, and a disgrace to football in General. In having being bought, for 50 Million, and he hasnt scored (2) is a misplaced priority, is simply not an excuse. Though, he qought should also be given a break, but personally, I think Torres is CURSED.
Posted 17:03 19th September 2011
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