Football is a team sport. In this sense, the eleven players that start a match are not the only ones that are important in any football match. The players sitting on the substitute’s bench also have a critical part to play in the games. Football fans have been treated to spectacular performances by “super-subs” who came on to win crucial games in the recent past. These subs filled the slots so perfectly, that any JackpotCity Casino fan would happily give them a few turns on their highly regarded slots online to play for them!
So who are these heroes that came on to change the game’s fortunes in their team’s favor?
Game: Champions League semi-final (Liverpool vs. Barcelona)
Liverpool came into this match, trailing Barcelona by three goals after losing the first leg of the 2019 Champions League at Nou Camp. To make matters worse, their top striker, Mo Salah, was injured. As a result, Divock Origi got the chance to start. He repaid his manager’s trust by scoring the first goal before the break.
However, the situation became darker for The Reds as they also lost Andrew Robertson to injury, and this is how Wijnaldum found himself in the game. The Dutch midfielder put in one of the most memorable performances by a player from the bench in the history of the Champions League. He scored two quick goals to put Liverpool on level terms.
It was Origi who scored the winning goal with 11 minutes to go, to complete one of the most unbelievable comebacks. To date, you can be sure Barcelona is still wondering what went wrong that night!
Team: Bayern Munich
Game: Bundesliga (Bayern Munich vs. Wolfsburg)
Lewandowski is considered one of the greatest strikers of all time, and rightly so. In a Bundesliga game in 2015/16, the prolific striker scored five shocking goals in nine minutes. Bayern were trailing Wolfsburg by one goal at halftime.
Lewandowski came on for Thiago Alcantara and restored his team’s parity in one of the most outstanding performances by a substitute ever witnessed in the game. In the process, he also registered the quickest hat-trick in Bundesliga’s history.
Game: European Championship (Portugal vs. France)
Eder wrote his name in Portugal’s history books when he came on for Portugal in the Euro 2016 Final against France. The Portuguese netted the game’s only goal in extra time, leaving the hosts stunned.
Eder got the chance to make history after his captain, Cristiano Ronaldo, was forced off the pitch after an awkward tackle from Dimitri Payet. Despite losing their captain, Portugal kept on believing until Eder made his historic contribution.
Team: Real Madrid
Game: Champions League Final (Real Madrid vs. Liverpool)
Gareth Bale was not part of Zinedine Zidane’s starting eleven in the Champions League Final in 2018. In the tight match played in Cardiff, Sadio Mane canceled Karim Benzema’s goal, and the Spanish giants had to look to their bench for solutions.
The Welsh captain came on, and within two minutes, he scored arguably one of the best goals ever scored in a Champions League Final. With seven minutes remaining, Bale ensured Real Madrid finished the match comfortably by scoring his second. He was also named the Man-of-the-Match.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer
Team: Manchester United
Game: Champions League Final (Manchester United vs. Bayern Munich)
Ole’s effort in the 1999 Champions League final remains unmatched in terms of the greatest impact made by a substitute. The Norwegian came off the bench with ten minutes remaining as Bayern Munich were leading the match by one goal.
Teddy Sheringham, another substitute, scored the equalizer before Ole struck in the 93rd minute to seal one of the most unlikely wins. Manchester United won the Champions League that year in dramatic fashion!