Scotland Wales Northern Ireland
BBC Homepage feedback | low graphics version
BBC Sport Online
You are in: Football  
Front Page 
Eng Prem 
FA Cup 
World Cup 2002 
Champions League 
Uefa Cup 
Worthington Cup 
Eng Div 1 
Eng Div 2 
Eng Div 3 
Eng Conf 
Scot Prem 
Scottish Cup 
CIS Ins Cup 
Scot Div 1 
Scot Div 2 
Scot Div 3 
Rugby Union 
Rugby League 
Other Sports 
Sports Talk 
In Depth 
Photo Galleries 
TV & Radio 
BBC Pundits 
Question of Sport 
Funny Old Game 

Around The Uk

BBC News

BBC Weather

Wednesday, 25 July, 2001, 11:28 GMT 12:28 UK
Barthez plays the field
Fabien Barthez showed fancy footwork in Singapore
Fabien Barthez showed fancy footwork in Singapore
BBC Sport Online chief football writer Phil McNulty looks at how Manchester United's Fabien Barthez is following in the footsteps of goalkeepers who likely to show off outfield skills.

Manchester United's 19m man Ruud Van Nistelrooy knew he would be a victim of Sir Alex Ferguson's squad rotation one day - but he did not bank on being replaced by goalkeeper Fabien Barthez.

Barthez is the latest in a breed of goalkeepers who want to show they are as quick with their feet as they are with their hands.

The flamboyant France World Cup and Euro 2000 winner has already shown his fancy footwork since arriving at Manchester Unied last summer.

Barthez is known for his unhurried style on the ball, his dribbling skills, plus an ability to spray 60-yard passes to all parts of Old Trafford.

But he has not been handed an "official" outfield role until Ferguson delighted 50,000 fans in Singapore by putting on Barthez at Van Nistelrooy's expense in the closing stages of an 8-1 victory.

Schmeichel on target
Schmeichel on target
And while some may raise an eyebrow a the idea of one of the world's best goalkeepers risking his well-being by mixing it with the game's muscle men defenders, Ferguson had no qualms.

It may even mean he gets peace and quiet from a man who unsuccessfully advanced upfield to take a penalty at Old Trafford last season.

Barthez was snubbed by his team-mates then, but finally got his wish with the game won in front of a thrilled Singapore crowd.

And Ferguson said: "Fabien has been pestering me for ages, and Ruud was really tired.

"We know he is a capable footballer and there was no problem. He did very well. It was no disrespect to Singapore, we just wanted everyone fit and fresh."

Barthez was not the first last line of defence to push himself into front line duty - some with more success than others.

Peter Schmeichel, a legendary predecessor of Barthez at Old Trafford, was only to happy to lend his height and weight to the attack in times of desperation.

"We know he is a capable footballer and there was no problem - he did very well
  Alex Ferguson
Schemeichel got himself on the scoresheet in 1995 when he headed home in a 2-2 draw against Rotor Volgorgrad in the Uefa Cup.

Schmeichel even stormed forward in an FA Cup Final against Everton in 1995 when United trailed and had a corner in injury time - but all to no avail.

The stage may have been smaller - but the stakes were arguably even higher for the clubs involved when Carlisle United faced Plymouth Argyle at Brunton Park.

Carlisle were heading out of the league as they were being held to a 1-1 draw, while Scarborough were already celebrating safety following a 1-1 draw at home to Peterborough.

It was then, in the seventh minute of injury time, that fate and Carlisle goalkeeper Jimmy Glass intervened.

The on-loan keeper smashed home the winner in a penalty box scramble to score the goal that meant survival for Carlisle - and doom for Scarborough.

The idea of a goalkeeper as a consistent goalscorer is fanciful, unless you are the Paraguayan legend Jose Luis Chilavert.

Chilavert - consistent marksmen
Chilavert - consistent marksmen
Chilavert is a set-piece expert, as comfortable firing home free kicks from long rage as he is stopping them.

He has scored 40 goals in his career, including six at international level.

Chilavert scored a hat trick against Ferro Oeste in the Argentinian league last season - modest opposition, but still quite a feat.

Spurs goalkeeper Pat Jennings scored from a clearance against Manchester United in the 1967 Charity Shield.

The goalkeeper on the receving end that day, Alex Stepney, also got on the scoresheet himself from the penalty spot during his long career.

There was also quite a feat - or should that be feet? - from Swedish goalkeeper Ulrik Rundqvist.

He scored a hat-trick for his club Sunne against Gunnarskog earlier this year.

Rundqvist, who once played under England coach Sven Goran Eriksson at Degerfors, scored his treble from the penalty spot.

And it may make him a handy man for Eriksson to turn to for advice in the event of England being forced into a penalty shoot-out in next summer's World Cup.

Search BBC Sport Online
Advanced search options

Man Utd's Fabien Barthez impressed as a potential goal-poacher. Send us your tales of up front keepers. Up front
Is your team's goalie an outfield star?

English Premiership news

Click here for all the latest from the My Club section
More news on this club

Links to top Football stories are at the foot of the page.

Links to other Football stories

^^ Back to top