It seems somewhat far-fetched that a professional footballer could manage not to score a single goal and yet still enjoy a successful career. And yet, this has happened to a few select players – they’re few and far between, but they often find themselves becoming urban legends. Read on to discover the stories of four footballers who, for various reasons, managed to avoid ever putting a ball into the back of the net.
Hibbert joined Everton’s youth team at the age of 9, going on to play for the senior team for 15 years and appearing in over 260 games. Often plagued by injury, his lifelong devotion to the club coupled with his likeable manner earned him some favour with fans, who didn’t hold his lack of goals against him, even unveiling a banner with “If Hibbert Scores, We Riot” on it during one match in 2009. Hibbert retired in 2016 and now owns a carp fishery in France. Whatever floats your boat… er, fish.
Playing for Birmingham, Worcester City, and Torquay United over the course of his twenty-one-year playing career, Womack managed to achieve the feat of not scoring even once in a regulation game with any of them, making appearances in an eye-watering 511 games without a single goal. Despite this, Womack’s post-playing career wasn’t bad: he went on to manage several teams including Leicester City, Notts County, Oldham Athletic and both Worcester City and Torquay United. All things considered, he did pretty well.
Morini’s seventeen-year career saw him play as a centre-back for Juventus for 11 seasons and the Italian national team 11 times, ending his career with a brief spell at Canada’s Toronto Blizzard. He was noted for his solid and well-executed technique, which was strong without ever being aggressive. It’s an excellent-sounding record. But despite this – you guessed it – he never once scored a goal for any of these teams. Just goes to show you don’t have to score to be a great player.
Famously called the “farce footballer”, Carlos Kaiser’s story is truly incredible. Despite being signed to several Brazilian clubs such as Flamengo and Vasco de Gama over more than ten years, he never actually played in a regulation game, frequently inventing excuses such as fake injuries to dodge having to make appearances and changing clubs every few months. Kaiser’s other deceptions included bribing journalists to write articles hyping his non-existent skill and even using fake mobile phones to stage conversations where he would turn down transfer offers to give the impression that he was a popular and sought-after player. Following his retirement, Kaiser’s story ended up becoming the subject of a film and a book – because clearly, he was due a break.