Martin Dubravka was the ‘highlight’ in Slovakia’s 5-0 defeat against Spain. In a competition that has so far had its fair share of calamity, the goalkeeper’s howler against the Spaniards stood out.
After the match, the Newcastle United goalkeeper said that it was his fault and took responsibility for the mistake.
What was said post-match
He said, as quoted in the Chronicle: “The first goal was my fault. I will regret this for a long time. The second made it tough for us until the end of the game.”
Meanwhile, Slovakia coach Stefan Tarkovic said after the game that the goalkeeper needn’t worry about the howler.
He said, via the same publication: “He will never get such a goal in his life. It is unfortunate for him also because it happened at the European Championships.
“Mistakes belong to life, especially in football. For me personally, this is not an easy situation, as I try to create support for the players.
“If I had to blame them for their mistakes, they can’t play football. After that, Spain controlled the game much more easily.”
Criticism on social media
As the mistake happened, plenty swarmed to social media to provide their two cents as to how awful the hot-stopper was.
They were rightly shouted down by fans of Newcastle, most of whom praised Dubravka for his brilliance ownership of the mistake.
Some even dubbed Dubravkka as one of the worst shot-stoppers in Europe – a frankly ridiculous take considering the years Newcastle fans have spent watching him save the club’s skin. At times, he is an outright game-saver. But that’s just the nature of social media.
Dubrvaka is a quality goalkeeper
Dubrvaka endured half a season on the sidelines in 2020-21 following an injury.
Karl Darlow filled in for him for a period of time, and despite hitting a good run of form, he was then dropped again in favour of Dubravka.
It shows the immense talent of the Slovakian goalkeeper. He is one of the best catches of the ball in the Premier League and was instrumental in helping Newcastle reach some of their mid-table finishes over the last few seasons. Some would argue he is the Magpies’ best player.
What’s also unique about Dubravka is that he can play outfield. When he was initially signed on loan from Sparta Prague by Rafael Benítez, he told how he enjoys playing as a right-winger.
“I like to play as a right‑winger,” said the Slovakia international, as quoted in the Guardian.
“Sometimes I play outfield in training and the coaches say: ‘Why are you a goalkeeper, maybe you could change to being a midfielder?’
“But it’s too late – my father and grandfathers were keepers and I’m tall.”
We can forgive the man for one mistake when he possesses such versatility.