Massimo Taibi speaks out about being labelled 'worst goalie in Premier League history' | inside World Soccer


Massimo Taibi speaks out about being labelled 'worst goalie in Premier League history'

Sunday, October 4, 2020

Massimo Taibi made a gaffe against Southampton in September 1999 that resulted in Matt Le Tissier scoring a goal, for which he became synonymous

Former Manchester United goalkeeper has opened up about his frustration with how he has been labelled as one of the Premier League's worst goalkeepers because of THAT error at Southampton.

The Italian joined United from Venezia for a fee of £4.5 million in 1999 to replace legendary goalkeeper Peter Schmeichel, who departed for Sporting Lisbon after helping the Red Devils win the treble that season.

Taibi made his United debut in a 3-2 win against Liverpool and he was awarded Man of the Match due to a string of brilliant saves.

However, the ex-AC Milan custodian made an almighty gaffe in the 3-3 draw with Southampton when he allowed a tame effort from Matt Le Tissier to squeeze through his legs and into the net.

That goal was the one which he became synonymous with, and in January 2000 he left on loan for Italian outfit Reggina.

He only played four matches, one of them a 5–0 defeat at Chelsea, United's first league defeat since losing to Middlesbrough in December 1998.

In an interview with American Gambler, Taibi has reflected on the costly mistake.

For me, that wasn't a terrible error as such, certainly not something to label you with for life.

It was just one of those things which happen to goalkeepers. I've seen plenty in England and Italy, believe me. Going through the legs, it looks ridiculous, but it happens often. It's not the first, it wasn't the last.

I had a similar incident like that at Torino. It happens. It's an accident, not an error. An error is to come out for the ball and miss it but an innocuous shot which goes through your legs is just a total accident.

Look, I'm old now and I've normalised it. But, believe you me, it was so hurtful when every year they bring out this label: "The worst goalkeeper in Premier League history." I've heard them all. It hurt me. Not because I think I think I'm this superstar. Far from it, but I just feel - on a human level - you can never judge an athlete on the back of four matches.

I played four matches. Of which two I played well and was named man-of-the-match and the others I didn't. You destroy a goalkeeper after just four matches? It's crazy. Maybe after six, seven months, okay. You were terrible after 25 matches, I'd get that, but for that to happen after four matches, it really hurt.

He went on to play professionally for another 10 years in Italy with the likes of Torino, Atalanta, Reggina and Ascoli, but admits the error acted as a burden for the rest of his career.

You know the worst thing? It's the immediate realisation of having made the error; it's awful. The fact I realised straight away means I carried this burden on myself right until the end of my career. I played another ten years after leaving United and carried this negative feeling inside me the whole time.

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