Goalkeeper Ivan Provedel achieved UEFA Champions League immortality on the night of his tournament debut when he became Lazio’s unexpected hero against Atletico Madrid.
In a surprising turn of events, Provedel, instead of making a crucial save or stopping a pivotal penalty, left his mark on the other side of the field. He surged forward to score the dramatic equalizing goal for Lazio just seconds before the end of the game.
Lazio had conceded a goal after Pablo Barrios’ strike in the 29th minute, and they appeared headed for a disappointing home defeat at the Olimpico in their opening Group E match.
However, with the clock showing 94 minutes and 19 seconds, their goalkeeper, who coincidentally wears the number 94 jersey, stands at 1.94 meters tall and was born in 1994, leapt into the night sky to block Luis Alberto’s sweeping cross and salvage the match, securing a 1-1 draw with the last action of the game.
Provedel’s incredible feat granted him access to one of football’s most prestigious clubs. He became only the fourth goalkeeper in the Champions League and the second to score a goal in the tournament that wasn’t from the penalty spot.
Before Provedel, Vincent Enyeama was the most recent addition to this exclusive club. The former Nigeria captain scored a penalty for Hapoel Tel Aviv against Lyon in 2010. Enyeama had taken over as Hapoel’s primary penalty taker in the 2008/09 season and had previously scored several spot-kicks for the Israeli club, including one in the 2009/10 national cup final.
He later repeated his feat in the Champions League, successfully converting a penalty against Salzburg in the qualifying rounds and scoring another goal against Lyon in the group stage, although it came in a match his team lost 3-1.
Hans-Jörg Butt is another notable goalkeeper who left his mark in football. The former German national team player scored 32 goals in all competitions during his career, a remarkable achievement that places him among the top 10 players in history.
Butt holds the record for the most goals scored in a single European professional league, with 26 goals in the Bundesliga. He also holds the record for the most goals scored by a goalkeeper in the Champions League, with three goals to his name.
Interestingly, all three of Butt’s goals in the Champions League came from the penalty spot, and they were scored for different clubs, although each time against the same opponent, with Juventus being the recipient on all three occasions.