5 players whose careers were ruined due to a single game

Players whose careers were ruined due to a single game.
Players whose careers were ruined due to a single game.

Football is the most popular sport in the world and enjoys a massive global following. With so many eyes on you, every move a footballer makes is scrutinized.

Many players have come and gone in the long history of football, with some earning a reputation as one of the gems of the game. Meanwhile, some have been embroiled in controversies that have harmed their football careers.

We all have football heroes, whether from our favorite local teams or from World Cup winning giants. We admire them, and children learn from them. We might even want to know everything there is to know about our favorite football players, from their humble origins to their training methods, or even their favorite cereal.

Footballers, like the rest of us, are only human and can make terrible mistakes. Over the years, a number of footballers have had their careers ruined by dreadful errors. Here are five examples of fallen idols.

#5 David Luiz

Brazil v Germany: Semi Final - 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil
Brazil v Germany: Semi Final - 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil

Prior to the 2014 World Cup, David Luiz was frequently ranked as one of the best defenders in the world.

After a string of outstanding performances for Benfica, he joined Chelsea in 2011 and played an important role in the club's FA Cup and UEFA Champions League triumphs that season.

Then came the 2014 World Cup semifinal between Brazil and Germany. Luiz was chosen to captain the team in Thiago Silva's absence due to suspension, and he presided over the worst 90 minutes in Selecao history.

After being humiliated 7-1 on home soil by Germany at Estadio Mineirao in Belo Horizonte, Brazil manager Luiz Felipe Scolari described the experience as "the worst day of my life." Luiz should have felt the same way.

ON THIS DAY: in 2014, Mesut Özil helped Germany humiliate Brazil 7-1 in the semi finals of the World Cup.“I went to David Luiz and said 'I really apologise, you have a nice country and nice people. We learned there and had a really good time."

This harmed David Luiz's reputation considerably. Everyone turned to PSG, who had signed him two months earlier for £50 million from Chelsea. During his two seasons in French football, he did, however, win all four domestic competitions.

Luiz returned to Chelsea in August 2016 and ended up winning the Premier League and finishing runner-up in the FA Cup that season.

He was transferred to local rivals Arsenal in 2019, where he won the FA Cup and FA Community Shield, but his inconsistent performances indicated that he was nearing the end of his career.

People's perceptions of David Luiz changed after the 7-1 defeat at the World Cup and despite club success later on, his career and reputation took a hit.

#4 Asamoah Gyan

Uruguay v Ghana: 2010 FIFA World Cup - Quarter Finals
Uruguay v Ghana: 2010 FIFA World Cup - Quarter Finals

It is difficult to decide how Ghana should be remembered for their performance in the 2010 FIFA World Cup, especially for Ghanaians.

Every African football fan is familiar with Ghana's journey in 2010. The Black Stars were one penalty kick away from becoming the first African country to reach the tournament's semifinals after Cameroon (1990) and Senegal (2002) failed to break the quarterfinals ceiling.

A Ghana free kick caused havoc in the Uruguay box, with Dominic Adiyiah heading what appeared to be a goal-bound effort, but Luis Suarez was on the line and stopped the ball with his hand.

On this day exactly, 10 years ago, Gyan Asamoah missed a penalty which would have sent Ghana to the 2010 FIFA World Cup Semi-finals after Luis Suárez handball.#SoccerNews

Suarez was sent off and Ghana received a penalty. The audience was ecstatic. Asamoah Gyan stepped up. He had already scored penalties against Serbia and Australia in the group stage to advance Ghana to the knockouts.

He couldn't possibly miss it, could he? He did, striking the ball against the crossbar to force a penalty shootout, which Ghana lost.

One could argue that the Quarter Final match between the Black Stars and La Celeste was the World Cup 2010's "sliding doors" moment. It had the same effect on Asamoah's career, who was playing for Rennes in France at the time.

Scoring a last-minute goal in the extra period of a World Cup quarter-final would have given him a lot of attention. Perhaps he would have ended up playing for clubs other than Sunderland, Al Ain, Shanghai SIP, Shabab, Kayserispor and Northeast United.

#3 Jonathan Woodgate

Jonathan Woodgate being sent off - Real Madrid v Athletic Bilbao
Jonathan Woodgate being sent off - Real Madrid v Athletic Bilbao

Bobby Robson called Jonathan Woodgate "one of the top four English central defenders in the Premier League, along with Sol Campbell, Rio Ferdinand and Gareth Southgate."

He had that kind of talent, but injuries hampered him, limiting him to 37 appearances over a season and a half. Despite being injured at the time, Real Madrid saw enough in the 24-year-old to pay £13.4 million to bring him to the Bernabéu in 2004.

Jonathan Woodgate hadn't played in 17 months but was thrown in right away against Athletic Bilbao, four games into the La Liga season.

It's 16 years since Jonathan Woodgate's Real Madrid debut...Own goal 😩Red card 🔴It was not worth the 13-month wait 😬

Woodgate, undoubtedly eager to impress on his return to football and introduction to Madrid, hoped to score on his debut, and that's exactly what he did after only 25 minutes. The only issue was that it was at the wrong end.

Woodgate, now doubly determined to prove his worth to Madrid's skeptical fans, let his enthusiasm get the better of him when he was booked for diving in on Carlos Gerpegui. In the second half, he was booked once again and eventually sent off for a foul on Joseba Etxeberria.

He'd waited 13 months to make his Real Madrid debut and after 66 minutes, he must have left the field wishing he'd waited a little longer. He never made more than three consecutive appearances in La Liga that season, and he left on loan to Middlesbrough at the end of the season with just 14 appearances for Los Blancos in all competitions.

#2 Rob Green

England v USA: Group C - 2010 FIFA World Cup
England v USA: Group C - 2010 FIFA World Cup

Robert Green made a terrible mistake for England, one of the most scrutinized teams in the world, in their opening game against USA at the 2010 FIFA World Cup on 12 June, 2010.

The event itself does not require much analysis – everyone knows how it transpired. Four minutes in, Steven Gerrard scored a well-worked goal and England looked relatively in control.

In the 40th minute, the United States took advantage of some sloppy English defending to gain possession in their half. Clint Dempsey, of Fulham at the time, turned Steven Gerrard inside out before unleashing a shot on goal.

This was not a thunderbolt of a shot. It didn't deflect. The Jabulani, famous for its devastating swerve, did not move with its usual swing and swagger.

It took two bounces off the ground in the box before landing on Robert Green's gloves. Instead of ricocheting forward for the goalkeeper to pounce on, the ball deflected into the bottom left corner.

Green has been predictably tight-lipped about discussing that game, that moment, over the years. It was a really low point for him, and it appears to have been the catalyst for his career's downturn.


He had a solid Premier League career with Norwich and West Ham, a few decent years with QPR and Leeds before finishing his career as a reserve with Huddersfield and finally Chelsea, where he won the Europa League before retiring.

In this age of the internet, it would be absurd to say that the USA blunder should be forgotten. He made one glaring error. But a single blunder shouldn't define what otherwise was a very successful career.

#1 Loris Karius

Real Madrid v Liverpool - UEFA Champions League Final
Real Madrid v Liverpool - UEFA Champions League Final

On 26 May 2018, Liverpool played their first UEFA Champions League final since losing to AC Milan in Athens in 2007. The Reds were set to face Real Madrid, a European powerhouse boasting Cristiano Ronaldo, Karim Benzema and Gareth Bale among their ranks.

Despite an early injury to Mohamed Salah, the Reds were in the game until goalkeeper Loris Karius made a huge blunder, allowing Benzema to score and effectively ending the team's hopes of winning the famous trophy that year. To make it worse, he made another error and deflected Gareth Bale's long-range effort into his own goal. Real Madrid were 3-1 victors on the night.

The following year, Liverpool signed Brazilian Alisson Becker from AS Roma. Alisson would take over as No. 1 and Karius would eventually be loaned out. That night in Kiev will live on in Karius' nightmares, as he has not played a single competitive minute for Liverpool since, and will not do so in the future.

#OnThisBettingDay in 2018, Favourites Real Madrid beat Liverpool in the Champions League final with the 3-1 correct score being 14/1 A night to forget for Loris Karius and a night to remember for Gareth Bale... 🤩📹 @BTSportFootball #UCLFinal

With Alisson in, Karius was out and he signed a two-year loan deal with Turkish club Besiktas. His time in Turkey began promisingly, but the mistakes continued.

The German would return to his homeland on loan to Union Berlin. The same themes would repeat themselves as he spent the majority of the season on the bench, filling in for Andreas Luthe.

Three and a half years later, Loris Karius is the fourth choice goalkeeper at Liverpool, still looking for redemption and shaking off the narrative of what happened that night in Kiev.

Quick Links

Edited by Manas Mitul
Be the first one to comment