For the most part, I like my goalkeepers humble. I like for them to appreciate the role they’ve been given on my team despite their inferior foot skills and weird ability to use their hands on the pitch. If a goalkeeper starts to think too much of himself, I put them in the camel clutch and make them humble.
When I see goalkeepers pulling off outrageous pieces of skill, I don’t know how to feel. My inner purist hates the very idea of a lowly goalkeeper having the audacity to attempt anything aside from collecting the ball and changing the point of play. But the kid inside me howls with delight every time an attacker gets served their own healthy dose of humble pie, especially when it’s presented piping hot off the boot of the man entrusted with the immense task of protecting goal. That this man would forsake all reason, good sense and practical training simply for the sake of a highlight, somehow resonates strongly with me. I can’t help it.
Goalkeepers catch a lot of heat. It’s perhaps the most cerebrally taxing positions on the pitch, and it take a bona fide crazy person to properly embrace the task of standing in a metal frame and slapping away everything that comes near it. Maybe the least rewarding position in sports, there’s really just not a lot of fun happening when you’re the number one. At times you’re barely called upon, with just one second of inattentiveness the difference between a clean sheet or your name in the front pages as this week’s villain. Conversely, your swiss cheese of a backline could leave you out to dry for 90+ minutes of pure hell, making you a hero or just an unfortunate victim to powers greater than your control.
So why not have a little fun sometimes? That’s exactly what Osasco Audax goalkeeper Felipe Alves did, pulling off an absolutely outrageous chapeu over an onrushing attacker, before rescuing the blushes with a lunging slide tackle to preserve his legend. Go on my son. Have a bit of fun.