Ex-Man Utd goalkeeper explains why André Onana puts Vaseline on his gloves

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Ex-Man Utd goalkeeper explains why André Onana puts Vaseline on his gloves
Photo: @Wandi_SA

Former Australia and Manchester United goalkeeper Mark Bosnich has explained why André Onana may have put Vaseline on his gloves during matches.

Onana recently caused a stir when he was spotted applying Vaseline to his gloves during United's 2-2 draw with Liverpool on Sunday.

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Many were puzzled at the sight of Onana plucking a pot of petroleum jelly from his equipment bag and smearing it all over his palms whilst waiting for a Liverpool corner.

The Cameroonian made six important saves, though, with Liverpool registering 15 shots on Onana's goal during a one-sided first half at Old Trafford.

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Whilst the effect of the substance is debatable, Bosnich was able to clear up the confusion.

The former Aston Villa and Chelsea shot-stopper spoke about the incident to Sky Sports News.

With everything that's going on on social media with the Vaseline on the gloves, lucky for him, he was outstanding, because that would have been the punchline of many a joke everywhere around the world if one of the balls was slipping through.

The only thing that I can think of is that it helps his grip. A lot of goalkeepers like to have their gloves a little bit wet sometimes, because I think the grip that's on it, the rubber, can be so stringy that it takes a bit of feeling out of the hands.

But the best person to ask is obviously the goalkeeper. The only thing I can think of is that he feels as though it makes his grip more comfortable.

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It's worth noting that the use of Vaseline on goalkeeper gloves isn't unheard of, with Ben Foster speaking during on an episode of his "Fozcast" podcast last year:

I remember the first player I saw do that was Joe Hart in Brazil at the 2014 World Cup.

He put Vaseline on his gloves [during a training session] and told me, "Honestly, it is a game changer!"

In a 2022 interview with goalkeeper coach Conor O'Keefe, Hart said he was introduced to the technique by former Leicester City custodian Kasper Schmeichel.

I had finished with Umbro and I was trialling new gloves in pre-season and this Vaseline rumour was around. I thought it can't work, it doesn't make any sense.

But Kasper said, "Put Vaseline on them" and I trust him because I'm close to him, so I did it and I've never looked back.

I've known lads not to do it out of principle, but as soon as I did it in training, I'd see them go to the ball and start rubbing their hands on the ball to get the Vaseline on their gloves.

Many goalkeepers also use grease, semi-adhesive solutions and even so-called gloveglue to improve the stability of their ball handling during games.

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