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Find out the top 10 worst goalkeepers of all time

In the world of football, goalkeepers walk a fine line between triumph and despair. Celebrated for match-winning saves yet vilified for costly errors, they bear a unique burden of responsibility. These are the stories of goalkeepers whose journeys have been marked by moments of agonizing misfortune and unforgettable blunders amidst the highs and lows of their careers. Let’s learn about the top 10 worst goalkeeper in the world with bestsoccertips through the following article!

Top 10 worst goalkeepers in the world

10. Heurelho Gomes

Brazilian player Heurelho Gomes is another contender for the title of worst goalkeeper of all time. He rose to prominence in his career in the Netherlands. Following an impressive display, he was soon sought after by Premier League club Tottenham Hotspur. Despite figures like Harry Redknapp backing him, Gomes still seemed prone to one or two peculiar errors. His shot-stopping ability wasn’t particularly questionable; it was a result of both confidence and ball-handling skills.

Top 10 worst goalkeepers in the world: Heurelho Gomes
Top 10 worst goalkeepers in the world: Heurelho Gomes

Ultimately, both of these factors contributed to Gomes falling out of favor. It marked the beginning of the end for him, and in a short span, he found himself relegated to the substitute bench. Currently, Gomes holds ambitions for championship side Watford as the Hornets strive for promotion this summer.

9. Mike Hooper

If there’s a goalkeeper fitting the bill of a typical bench-warmer, it’s none other than Mike Hooper. The former Liverpool goalkeeper epitomizes this special phrase as he spent the majority of his playing career watching from the sidelines. During his time at Merseyside, Hooper made 50 appearances for the Reds.

Worst goalkeeper: Mike Hooper
Worst goalkeeper: Mike Hooper

However, this stretched to around 8 years after his move from Newcastle United. At Newcastle, Hooper played fewer than 30 games at St James’ Park over three years. Even a loan spell with the fierce rivals Sunderland couldn’t rescue Hooper from his dreaded spot on the bench, where he failed to make a single appearance.

8. Gunnar Nielsen

Another contender for the title of worst goalkeeper of all time is the malicious Gunnar Nielsen. This might be one of the strangest signings Manchester City has ever made. Despite recently spending over $400 million on a new training academy, Nielsen remains the worst player to have never made an official first-team appearance.

The worst goalkeeper: Gunnar Nielsen
The worst goalkeeper: Gunnar Nielsen

In fact, his Manchester City career amounted to a total of 14 minutes when he came on as a substitute for an injured Shay Given. This is despite him never even representing his humble national team of the Faroe Islands. Signed from Blackburn Rovers, Nielsen was a hopeful prospect but it quickly turned into a disappointment, and he was soon offloaded. Some of the clubs he played for include Wrexham and Motherwell.

7. Mike Pollitt

Goalkeeper Mike Pollitt has undergone a journey full of ups and downs in his career, a notable tale of perseverance and motivation. Spanning nearly two decades and involving nearly 20 different clubs, Pollitt not only faced the pressure of fierce competition for starting positions but also had to navigate through constant changes in emotions and team situations with each new club he joined.

The worst goalkeeper in the world: Mike Pollitt
The worst goalkeeper in the world: Mike Pollitt

Throughout his journey, Pollitt demonstrated unwavering patience and determination in the face of challenges and obstacles. His flexibility and adaptability were prerequisites to surviving in an ever-changing football environment. He relentlessly strived, rose above, and created opportunities for himself, even if it meant acquainting himself with new environments and learning from various experiences. This exemplifies his passion and love for the sport while also being a testament to the true grit of a professional athlete.

6. Stephen Bywater

Stephen Bywater etched his name into the record books as a member of one of the worst teams in Premier League history, making him particularly memorable to fans. His role in Derby County’s Premier League campaign cannot be overlooked, as he appeared in 19 separate matches. However, his appearances are not remembered for standout moments, as he conceded over 40 goals and kept a clean sheet in only two matches.

Who is the worst goalkeeper: Stephen Bywater
Who is the worst goalkeeper: Stephen Bywater

During that challenging period, Bywater became a model of optimism and patience. Failure didn’t deter him; instead, he kept moving forward, even if it meant enduring periods of instability and change. His journey wasn’t limited to one club; he ventured through various teams, starting from Ipswich Town.

5. Peter Abrahamsson

Peter Abrahamsson underwent a rather unique and resilient experience in his career as part of Örgryte. While his involvement in Sweden’s second tier might not have made a significant impression on some, a special story about him is tied to a peculiar situation during a match against league rivals Hammarby.

World's worst goalkeeper: Peter Abrahamsson
World’s worst goalkeeper: Peter Abrahamsson

In a sudden turn of events, Abrahamsson executed an unusual punch within the penalty area, but some mysterious issue caused him to lose focus. As a result, he touched the ball outside the penalty area, despite no imminent danger. This led to him being sent off by the referee just within a minute of the match. It was truly a bizarre and memorable situation in Abrahamsson’s career, creating a unique aspect to his journey in football.

4. Andy Dibble

While former Welsh footballer Andy Dibble had a fairly average career with an extended stint at Manchester City, the rest of his footballing days somewhat slipped by. He played for an astonishing 18 clubs and is considered a quintessential example of a football journeyman. His playing career spanned a quarter-century, albeit with only around 400 appearances in the top flight. His lone lengthy incantation is remembered as one of the most significant spells, especially for Dibble. It came during Manchester City’s clash with Nottingham Forest at the City Ground, a match still talked about to this day.

Worst goalkeeper ever: Andy Dibble
Worst goalkeeper ever: Andy Dibble

This was thanks to a remarkable goal involving Dibble. As he prepared to launch the ball upfield, midfielder Gary Crosby sneaked up behind him. Just as Dibble was about to punt the ball, Crosby darted in from behind and headed it out of Dibble’s hands to score. The two subsequent outings at Middlesbrough didn’t fare much better for him, as he conceded over 10 goals in just two appearances. Currently, Dibble is a goalkeeping coach at lower-league side Rotherham United.

3. Ricardo

One of the least memorable record-holding goalkeepers in football history is perhaps Manchester United’s expenditure of $2.5 million to acquire Ricardo in August 2002. Despite being seen as an ideal backup choice, Ricardo often found himself on the bench, frequently occupying the third-choice position. His appearances usually served to support Roy Carroll or Fabien Barthez, the latter having previously represented the French national team.

Worst goalkeeper: Ricardo
Worst goalkeeper: Ricardo

But Ricardo’s fate was far from resolute as he made just one solitary appearance for the Red Devils against Blackburn Rovers. In that lone outing, right from his first touch, he managed to create an unbelievable situation, prompting his team to face an immediate penalty. With Everton’s Tim Howard stepping onto the scene, Ricardo was swiftly subbed off, exiting the pitch as swiftly as he arrived from Spain. This created an unforgettable and embarrassing experience for the goalkeeper in his career.

2. Peter Enckelman

Former Finnish goalkeeper Peter Enckelman is another tale of goalkeeper agony. Once again, the man between the sticks found himself playing for numerous different clubs. This ranged from Blackburn Rovers and Cardiff City to Scotland’s Heart of Midlothian. However, he’s most famously remembered for his time between the posts for Aston Villa. He wasn’t the most beloved figure at Villa Park, and this mudpool of footballing infamy deepened when he appeared in a challenging and chaotic Midlands derby.

The worst goalkeeper: Peter Enckelman
The worst goalkeeper: Peter Enckelman

Enckelman played for the Villains in a match against Birmingham City at St. Andrews, where they suffered a 2-0 defeat. Following a throw-in aimed at the goalkeeper, what happened next turned out to be simply indescribable. As the game unfolded, Enckelman let the ball slip under his foot and painfully roll into the net.

1. Massimo Taibi

Without a shadow of a doubt, the title of the worst goalkeeper of all time must go to Italian goalkeeper Massimo Taibi. Signed by Sir Alex Ferguson for over $9 million, the promising number one from Serie A arrived to toil in Manchester United’s goal. The Scottish player had high hopes for the towering 6-foot shot-stopper, but all turned to dust in footballing terms in a short span. His first appearance came in a match against the mighty Liverpool at Anfield, where Taibi put on a stellar performance. This was largely due to a string of saves that helped the Merseysiders stay at bay.

The worst goalkeeper in the world: Massimo Taibi
The worst goalkeeper in the world: Massimo Taibi

His Old Trafford career ended almost as soon as it began, and Taibi also featured in a match against Chelsea. Unfortunately, it wasn’t his day as he conceded five goals at Stamford Bridge. The final nail in the coffin came back at the Theatre of Dreams in a match between United and Southampton. The ball was picked up by Saints’ Matt Le Tissier in midfield. The famous phrase “my grandmother could have saved that” has never been truer as Le Tissier unleashed a shot from around 30 meters with the speed of a snail on the pitch.

What followed was one of the most calamitous footballing disasters ever witnessed. As Taibi went to gather the ball, somehow it slipped through his hands and into the net. With over 70,000 fans present in the stadium, a chorus of skeptical sounds reverberated among the Old Trafford faithful. Immediately after, Taibi was sent packing and never played another match for Manchester United.


In conclusion, the world of football is replete with tales of goalkeepers whose careers have been defined by both glory and agony. From heroic saves to inexplicable blunders, these individuals embody the unpredictable nature of the sport. Despite their moments of despair, they serve as poignant reminders of the human element in football – where success and failure often hinge on the thinnest margins. Yet, it is in their resilience and determination to rise above adversity that these goalkeepers find their true strength. Their stories remind us that in the beautiful game, as in life, it is not the fall that defines us, but the courage to get back up and keep striving for greatness.

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