Xabi-Alonso

It may sound clichéd, but just about anything can happen during a football match. A surprise sending off, a goalkeeping howler or horrendous tackle could happen in an instant. This is part of what makes the game so exciting, but, once in a while, there are incidents that are so surprising that it can be hard to forget about them. One of those happened early in 2005, when Liverpool went to plucky Luton Town in the 3rd Round of the FA Cup. The game itself was pretty good, but it became memorable for an outrageous goal by Spain midfielder Xabi Alonso.

Alonso, knowing that his side had to put the Hatters at bay, noticed that the opposition’s keeper was off his line, and, from inside his own half, had a speculative shot at goal. To everyone’s surprise, it flew into the back of the net, and for one lucky gambler, it meant a huge payday. You would have received large odds from the sports at Ladbrokes page for such a goal to be scored, but someone managed to get odds of 125-1 on a £200 bet that someone would score from behind the halfway line.

Adrian Hayward placed a bet online, and the bookmaker declared that they thought it would be the easiest £200 they would ever make, but the boot of a future Real Madrid star and World Cup Winner would prove them wrong. He walked away with a cool £25,000, while Alonso, despite his future success, will always be remembered for scoring one of the greatest goals ever scored in a major competition.