It may be the beautiful game packed with the most glorious moments, but sometimes even world-class footballers, faced with yawning nets, somehow conjure up the magic to miss!

These "oops" moments, often met with gasps, chuckles, or head-scratching bewilderment from fans, add a zesty twist and liven up even the most boring games.

So join us as we lace up for a quirky stroll down memory lane, revisiting those shots that went astray and left even the pros looking, well, a tad amateurish. Buckle up, it's going to be a whimsical ride!

Roberto Baggio (1994)

...And that World Cup missed penalty

Can you even imagine what it must be like to not only miss a penalty but to miss the penalty that hands the WORLD CUP to your opponents? 

That's what happened to Italian Roberto Baggio in the 1994 World Cup Final against Brazil. 

After a goalless draw in regular and extra time, the match proceeded to a penalty shootout to determine the winner.

With Brazil leading 3-2, Italy needed to score to keep their hopes alive. Roberto Baggio stepped up to take the penalty, but dramatically sent the ball over the crossbar, a moment that has since been described as one of the most notorious misses in World Cup history.

Fernando Torres (2011)

Chelsea vs. Manchester United

It was September 18th 2011 when Fernando Torres, togging out for Chelsea, missed a sitter that would go down in history. 

In the 83rd minute, with Chelsea trailing 3-1, Torres received a beautifully weighted through ball from Ramires. He sailed past Manchester United's defence, rounded goalkeeper David De Gea and with an open goal in front of him, it looked like a sure thing.

But in a twist that no one saw coming, Torres skewed his shot wide of the post, leaving the goalmouth untouched. Ouch!

Ryan Giggs (2003)

Manchester United vs Arsenal FA Cup

The scene was set at Old Trafford for yet another classic showdown between the two titans of English football. As the game progressed, a golden opportunity presented itself to Ryan Giggs.

After a defensive lapse by the Arsenal backline, Giggs found himself one-on-one with Arsenal's veteran goalkeeper, David Seaman. With a deft move, Giggs sidestepped Seaman, leaving himself with an empty net.

In what was an uncharacteristic mistake for the Welshman, Giggs somehow sent the ball over the crossbar from close range. A costly mistake as the game ended 0-0 and Arsenal eventually won the replay. 

Raheem Sterling (2018)

Manchester City vs. Burnley

Sterling, playing for Manchester City at the time, missed from almost point-blank range against Burnley.

Despite being just a few yards out with the goal at his mercy, he managed to put his shot wide. This miss became viral, but Manchester City still went on to win the match 1-0.

Edinson Cavani (2017)

Paris Saint-Germain vs. Guingamp

In this match against Guingamp, PSG was heavily favoured given their domestic dominance and the strength of their squad.

During the match, Cavani managed to capitalise on a mistake in the Guingamp defence, finding himself one-on-one with the goalkeeper. After cleverly rounding the keeper, Cavani had the goal at his mercy with no defenders in sight.

A simple finish was expected, but to the astonishment of the crowd and his teammates, his shot struck the post and went out of play. It didn't make much difference as PSG won 4-0.

Corentin Tolisso (2021)

Bayern Munich vs Dortmund

Another Der Klassiker between Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund and despite Dortmund's poor run they gave it everything they have.

But a couple of lapses in concentration meant that Bayern got the upper hand with Tolisso gifted a chance at an open goal.

It was during the final minute of the game and it would have solidified Bayern's dominance but despite the open net Tolisso missed the sitter. 

Mario Balotelli (2011)

Manchester City vs. LA Galaxy

Talented by unpredictable, Mario Balotelli found himself through on goal after a pass split the defence. As he approached the LA Galaxy goalkeeper, instead of opting for a conventional finish, Balotelli attempted a pirouette, trying to backheel the ball into the net.

His unorthodox effort went wide, much to the shock and confusion of teammates and spectators alike. It was seen by many as unnecessary showboating. He was immediately substituted by manager Roberto Mancini!

Coral Bookmaker

CORAL OFFER

New Customer Offer

GET A £20 FREE BET WHEN YOU BET £5 ON SPORTS

18+ New UK+IRE Customers. Certain deposit methods & bet types excl. Min first £5 bet within 14 days of account reg at min odds 1/2 to get 1x £20 free bet. Free bet available to use on selected sportsbook markets only. Free bets valid for 7 days, stake not returned. Restrictions + T&Cs apply 18+ begambleaware.org. #ad. Please bet responsibly.