When you hear tales of a goalkeeper scoring a goal themselves, it tends to conjure images of park football and a shot-stopper being allowed to take a late penalty given that his side is already several goals to the good.
You certainly wouldn’t expect a goalie to be finding the opposition net in the Champions League, which for many is the pinnacle of club football around the world, and yet you’d be surprised how often it’s actually happened.
Ivan Provedel was the latest to add his name to the rollcall of goalkeepers to score in the Champions League in September 2023. The Italian leapt like a salmon to nod home a 95th minute equaliser for Lazio against Atletico Madrid, and incredibly it wasn’t the first time that Provedel had scored in a professional game – he also notched for Juve Stabia in a game while on loan at the club in February 2020.
— Football on TNT Sports (@footballontnt) September 20, 2023
So are goals scored by a keeper in the Champions League as rare as the proverbial hen’s teeth? The answer is a resounding yes, with Provedel becoming only the fourth GK to score in the competition since the rebranding of the European Cup back in 1992.
Hans-Jorg Butt’s Champions League Goals
|13th Sept 2000||Hamburg||Juventus||72′|
|12th Mar 2002||Bayer Leverkusen||Juventus||24′|
|8th Dec 2009||Bayern Munich||Juventus||30′|
The king of Champions League goals, as far as goalkeepers are concerned, is former Bayern Munich and Bayer Leverkusen shot-stopper Hans-Jorg Butt.
He scored a remarkable 33 goals during his career, with his prowess from the penalty spot matched by a desire to score from open play when sent forward in a bid to find a late equaliser – at 6ft 3in, Butt had the physicality to make a nuisance of himself.
A whopping 26 of his goals came in the German Bundesliga, but he held three back for the Champions League – in a quirk of fate, all of them came against Juventus.
Butt scored for Hamburg, Leverkusen and Bayern against the Italian giants, with seven years separating his first during the 2000/01 season and his third in 2008.
— UEFA Champions League (@ChampionsLeague) September 30, 2019
Sinan Bolat’s Champions League Goal
|9th Dec 2009||Standard Liege||AZ Alkmaar||90+5′|
While Butt will forever be known as the first goalkeeper to score in the Champions League, Sinan Bolat enjoys his own place in the competition’s hall of fame.
The Turkish international was the first net-tender to score from open play in the competition – with his presence in the penalty area causing chaos amongst AZ Alkmaar’s defenders during their clash with Standard Liege in 2009.
As has been proven time and again, goalkeepers have an innate ability to be very good at heading the ball – Bolat is certainly in that club, as his bullet header crashed into the AZ net to secure the Belgians a 95th minute equaliser.
Vincent Enyeama’s Champions League Goals
|18th Aug 2010||Hapoel Tel Aviv||Red Bull Salzburg||3′|
|29th Sept 2010||Hapoel Tel Aviv||Olympique Lyonnais||79′|
As well as enjoying a tremendous leap and an appetite for attacking the ball, some goalkeepers seem to have the eye of the tiger when it comes to taking penalty kicks too.
There are stacks of examples of GKs that have excelled from 12 yards – how else would Rogerio Ceni have been able to rack up a staggering 131 career goals?
Vincent Enyeama was another goalie with a penchant for penalties. Early on in his career, the Nigerian’s ability to stay cool, calm and collected was noticed by domestic clubs Ibom Stars and Enyimba, for whom he netted a combined eleven goals from the spot.
It took a while for Enyeama to return to penalty duties, but a switch to Israeli side Hapoel Tel-Aviv saw the keeper entrusted with taking spot kicks – which he did with some aplomb.
He would notch 15 goals for Hapoel all told, including two in the Champions League – one in the qualifying round and another against Lyon in the group phase of 2009/10.
How Many Goalkeepers Have Scored in the Premier League?
Although the Premier League’s rebrand of the First Division also took place in 1992, there’s far more EPL minutes played per season than in the Champions League – therefore, goalkeepers have had far more opportunity to find the net.
But even so, only six goalkeepers have scored a goal in the Premier League.
Premier League Goals by Goalkeepers
|20th Oct 2001||Peter Schmeichel||Aston Villa||Everton|
|21st Feb 2004||Brad Friedel||Blackburn Rovers||Charlton Athletic|
|17th Mar 2007||Paul Robinson||Tottenham Hotspur||Watford|
|4th Jan 2012||Tim Howard||Everton||Bolton Wanderers|
|2nd Nov 2013||Asmir Begovic||Stoke City||Southampton|
|16th May 2021||Alisson Becker||Liverpool||West Bromwich Albion|
Peter Schmeichel was the first, notching a neat volley for Aston Villa against Everton in October 2001 – that was one of eleven career goals for the Dane, whose goalkeeping son Kasper also found the net for Leicester City against Yeovil Town in 2014.
Brad Friedel and Alisson also scored after lumbering up-field for a late set piece, while the other three goalkeepers to score in the Premier League – Paul Robinson, Tim Howard and Asmir Begovic, whose goal for Stoke City against Southampton in 2013 came after just 13 seconds – did so courtesy of wind-assisted long kicks from their own half of the pitch.