Ranked: Worst Own Goals in Soccer History

The history of modern soccer is traceable to the 1860s, and it is not without ups and downs for players who have put the ball behind their own nets. Scoring an own goal is often the most awkward and embarrassing moment for a player. It is worse than handling the ball in the 18-yard box to hand the opposition a penalty. The shame and the guilt that comes with scoring an own goal is immeasurable. However, some own goals are quickly forgotten as they come. But scoring what a screamer into your own goal could be mistaken for something else. Say, there have been occasions where players have admitted to scoring their own goals deliberately for purposes of match-fixing.

In this post, we explore the worst own goal in soccer ever. Goals leave a player hanging his neck and fan, with a bitter taste in their mouth or the worst own goal in soccer ever. The catch is there is an own goal in soccer that is quickly forgiven and understood that things happen. And then there is the worst own goal that remains etched in the minds of irked fans for generations, even if it is unintentional. Take, for example, scoring an own goal in El Classico, in Boca Junior vs River Plate fixture, or a match between Manchester United and Liverpool. In football duels like these, an own goal would cost a leg. Scoring an own goal in an important soccer final is another worst-case scenario. And if you are a Colombian and score an own goal against your country in the FIFA World Cup, one's life is always at stake. But first, let's answer the question of who scored the first own goal in the history of the world cup? Manuel Rosas of Mexico scored the first own goal in FIFA World Cup in 1930. The following are some of the worst own goals in football history:

Milan Gajic

FC St. Gallen player, Milan Gajic, scored an own goal screamer in a match between FC St. Gallen and Young Boys. Intending to intercept a pass from opponents who were charging towards FC Gallen’s 18-yard, Milan Gajic caught the pass mid-air and netted a screamer to the top left corner. It is probably one the most beautiful own goals you will ever see, albeit, it went into the wrong net. It is the worst own goal ever.

Worst Own Goals in Soccer History: Milan Gajic

Chris Brass-Bury

Scoring an own goal and getting injured in the process is hard to take. But that was the case with Chris Brass. In a 2006 fixture between Bury and Darlington, Chris Brass attempted an overhead clearance inside the 18-yard box only for the ball to hit him on the face, breaking his nose in the process. The worst part is that the ball headed straight for his net, leaving the goalkeeper stranded. Chris Brass's own goal is regarded as one of the worst in football history because it was double collateral damage to the team.

Tony Popovic

If own goals are a thing of beauty, then Tony Popovic’s is an absolute wonder that went in to favour Reading is worth a thousand memories. It rankes highly among the crazy own goals. The former Crystal Palace player became instant ridicule among fans who felt chipping your goalkeeper with an own goal is ridiculous. While Popovic is anywhere close to footballers who have netted the most own goals in football history, his own goal could have easily been the talk of a decade if it went into the right net. If either Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo scored the goal in the right net, it would have ignited the endless debate of who between the two football billionaires is the best in the world of soccer.

Jamie Carragher

Worst Own Goals in Soccer History: Jamie Carragher

In a fixture between Liverpool and Manchester, you don’t want to be blamed for anything. For Jamie Carragher, the height of the player's misdemeanours was scoring an own goal in favour of Manchester United at Anfield in 1999. The worst part is that Carragher scored two own goals in that game, blunders that handed Manchester United a 3-2 victory in Liverpool. He is among the players who scored the worst own in soccer ever.

A high-flying header into the top corner of his net was particularly embarrassingly misdirected and it marked the beginning of a downward spiral for Liverpool in that rivalry fixture. Note that Jamie Carragher is among the top ten players who have scored the most own goals in the history of the Premier League. His misdirected shots quickly turned him into an object of mockery among rival fans.

Phil Jones

Phil Jones own goal in a match between Manchester United and Newcastle United is regarded as one of the worst in Premier League history. While Jone’s misdemeanour was away from home at St. James Park, it was a costly blunder for Manchester United. A long kick from the other end by Newcastle United goalkeeper, Tim Krul, became a curse for the Red Devils when Jones unwittingly diverted it into his net. At this point, it became clear the visitors who were trailing 2-0 would have to sweat blood to salvage some points. Jone’s own goal became the bad spell that denied Manchester United Premier League title in 2012.


Gavin is a full-time copywriter based in the UK and has developed in-depth knowledge of the igaming world by working in the betting industry for over five years. During this time, he has written thousands of articles covering various topics, including bookmaker reviews, ‘how to’ guides, bonus comparisons and much more.