In a Champions League match to remember, Lazio‘s goalkeeper, Ivan Provedel, etched his name into football history by scoring a late-minute equalizer, snatching a precious point for his team on their opening night in the competition. At 29 years old, the Italian goalkeeper became only the fourth goalkeeper ever to score in a UEFA Champions League game.
The match against Atletico Madrid had seen Lazio fall behind early, with Pablo Barrios putting Atletico ahead in the 23rd minute. Despite this setback, Lazio’s forwards relentlessly pressed forward in their pursuit of an equalizer. It was in injury time that the game took a dramatic turn.
Lazio Goalkeeper Provodel with the late equaliser against Atletico. Amazing. https://t.co/3osA3csV95
— Italian Football News 🇮🇹 (@footitalia1) September 19, 2023
Lazio managed to convert a corner kick into an opportunity, albeit one that led to a half-hearted penalty appeal. In the midst of this chaos, Ivan Provedel seized the moment. With precision and determination, he headed the ball into the net, capitalizing on a shot by Luis Alberto. The stadium erupted, and football fans worldwide marveled at this extraordinary turn of events.
Ivan Provedel’s achievement catapulted him into an exclusive club of goalkeepers who have scored in the Men’s UEFA Champions League. The first goalkeeper to achieve this remarkable feat was Hans-Jorg Butt, who managed to do so three times, in 2000, 2002, and 2009, while representing Hamburg, Leverkusen, and Munich, respectively. Interestingly, all three of Butt’s goals came from the penalty spot and were against the formidable Juventus.
Provedel’s achievement stands out even more because he is only the second goalkeeper in the history of the Champions League to score a non-penalty goal. The first goalkeeper to achieve this distinction was Sinan Bolat, who was the starting goalkeeper for Standard Liege and scored a non-penalty goal against AZ Alkmaar in 2009. A year later, Vincent Enyeama joined the ranks of goal-scoring keepers in the UEFA Champions League.
What makes Ivan Provedel’s feat all the more special is that it ended a lengthy goalkeeping drought in the Champions League. A remarkable 4739 days had passed since a goalkeeper last found the back of the net in this competition.
This wasn’t Provedel’s first brush with goal-scoring heroics. In the 2019/2020 season, he found himself in a similar situation when his team was trailing 2-1. Back then, playing in Serie B, Provedel displayed his goal-scoring prowess by netting a sensational header against Ascoli, securing his first professional goal and leaving a lasting mark in Italian football.
In the annals of Champions League history, Ivan Provedel’s name will now be remembered. His antics yesterday at Stadio Olimpico are a testament to the fun and nerve-wracking history of the UEFA Champions League.