Football is a beautiful game, but sometimes it can also be a cruel and embarrassing one. Whether it’s a player, a team, or a referee, no one is immune to making mistakes or being humiliated on the pitch. Here are seven of the most humiliating football incidents that have ever happened.
1. Germany 7-1 Brazil (2014 World Cup)
Perhaps the most shocking and humiliating result in football history, Germany demolished Brazil in their own backyard in the semi-final of the 2014 World Cup. The hosts, who were without their star player Neymar and captain Thiago Silva, conceded four goals in six minutes in the first half, and three more in the second half, as the Germans showed no mercy. The Brazilian fans were left in tears and disbelief, as their dreams of winning the World Cup on home soil were shattered in the most brutal way possible.
2. Liverpool 0-3 Watford (2020 Premier League)
Liverpool were on an incredible run of 44 games unbeaten in the Premier League, and looked unstoppable in their quest to win their first league title in 30 years. However, they met their match in Watford, who were fighting for survival at the bottom of the table. The Hornets stunned the Reds with a 3-0 victory, thanks to a brace from Ismaila Sarr and a goal from Troy Deeney. Liverpool’s unbeaten streak was over, and their invincibility was gone.
3. Barcelona 6-1 PSG (2017 Champions League)
PSG had a comfortable 4-0 lead over Barcelona after the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie, and seemed to have one foot in the quarter-finals. However, they were in for a rude awakening in the second leg at the Camp Nou, where Barcelona staged an incredible comeback. The Catalan giants scored three goals in the first hour, before PSG pulled one back to make it 3-1. However, Barcelona scored three more goals in the final seven minutes, including a dramatic penalty from Neymar in the 95th minute, to complete a 6-1 win and a 6-5 aggregate victory. It was the biggest turnaround in Champions League history, and a humiliating night for PSG.
4. Steven Gerrard’s Slip (2014 Premier League)
Steven Gerrard is one of the greatest players in Liverpool’s history, but he also had one of the most infamous moments in their history. In the 2013-14 season, Liverpool were on the verge of winning their first Premier League title, and only needed to avoid defeat against Chelsea at Anfield. However, in the 45th minute, Gerrard slipped while receiving a pass, allowing Demba Ba to run through and score for Chelsea. Liverpool went on to lose 2-0, and eventually lost the title to Manchester City by two points. Gerrard’s slip became a symbol of Liverpool’s failure, and a source of mockery for their rivals.
5. Zinedine Zidane’s Headbutt (2006 World Cup)
Zinedine Zidane is widely regarded as one of the best players of all time, and he had a stellar career with France, winning the 1998 World Cup and the 2000 European Championship. However, he also had a dark side, and it came to the fore in his final match, the 2006 World Cup final against Italy. Zidane had scored a penalty in the first half, but in the second half, he lost his temper and headbutted Marco Materazzi in the chest, after the Italian defender allegedly insulted his sister. Zidane was sent off, and France went on to lose the final on penalties. It was a sad and shameful end to Zidane’s glorious career.
6. Manchester United 1-6 Manchester City (2011 Premier League)
Manchester United and Manchester City are fierce rivals, and their matches are always intense and competitive. However, in October 2011, City inflicted a humiliating defeat on United at Old Trafford, winning 6-1 and sending a clear message that they were the new force in English football. City scored three goals in the first half, and three more in the last 10 minutes, as United were reduced to 10 men after Jonny Evans was sent off. It was United’s worst home defeat since 1955, and their worst defeat to City since 1926.
7. Frank Lampard’s Disallowed Goal (2010 World Cup)
England and Germany have a long and bitter rivalry in football, and their clash in the 2010 World Cup round of 16 was no exception. Germany took a 2-0 lead in the first half, but England pulled one back through Matthew Upson. Then, in the 38th minute, Frank Lampard unleashed a shot from 20 yards that hit the crossbar and bounced over the line, clearly crossing the goal line by a few inches. However, the referee and his assistant did not see it, and waved play on, denying England a clear goal. Germany went on to score two more goals in the second half, and won 4-1, eliminating England from the tournament. Lampard’s disallowed goal sparked a huge controversy, and led to the introduction of goal-line technology in football.