Outfielders as goalkeepers – the novelty that never gets old

There are some quirks in football that unite all fans of the game: A pitch invader getting cleaned out by a chasing steward, managers being caught unable to work everyday items like coat pockets, and of course Vivianne Miedema having any interaction with a 360 degree camera.

But arguably above all of those, and particularly dear to us in the football shirt community, is that moment when an outfielder ends up in goal. We were treated to such an event last weekend, when Brighton’s Lewis Dunk ended up in goal after Robert Sanchez got a late red card against Newcastle. 

It got us at FSC thinking about previous examples of such events, and with your help we put together a list of our favourite outfielders as goalkeepers. 


Premier League Classics

If we are lucky, we usually only get this once a season in the Premier League, with past seasons seeing the likes of Rio Ferdinand, Harry Kane and Tom Huddlestone in nets. 

Rio Ferdinand

Harry Kane

Tom Huddlestone

Cult Heroes

It takes a certain personality to step up and be that player who goes in goals, and perhaps that is why we see so many ‘cult status’ players step up to take the gloves in these situations. Vinnie Jones, Robbie Savage and John O’Shea have been amongst that particular group. 

Niall Quinn

Vinnie Jones

John O’Shea

Robbie Savage

Bobby Moore & Julian Dicks

Europe

On the continent, there has been no shortage of players stepping up to replace their goalkeeper either. Special mention here to Felipe Melo, who actually saved a penalty while in goal for Galatasaray.

Nicolas De Preville

Mamadou Sakho

Dani Alves

Felipe Melo

Rest of the World

If you are looking for the best example of an outfielder in goal, look no further than River Plate’s Enzo Pérez. Back in May, River Plate went into a Copa Libertadores game hit by injuries and a COVID-19 outbreak that left them with only 11 fit players – and no goalkeepers. Pérez – a midfielder – started the match in goal, and helped his team to a stunning 2-1 victory. 

Enzo Pérez

Are there any examples of outfielders as goalkeepers that we missed out? Let us know in the comments below!

Matt Leslie

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