Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting Had One Of The Worst Missed Goals In Soccer History So That We Could Sin

Dear Lord, how did he miss that?

How was your weekend? Good? Mediocre? Actively bad? Oh, that’s a shame. Sorry to hear that. 

But you know what, it’s OK. However bad your weekend was, it wasn’t Maxim Choupo-Moting bad. 


He’s the one in the PSG kit. He’s the one stopping the ball on the line. He’s the one trying to score into that goal he’s just somehow failed to score into. He is not defending at any point in that clip.


Except, well, he is. He just isn’t meant to be.


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This not-goal meant that PSG are going to have to wait to win the French title for at least another game. Excitingly, if they somehow manage to blow a 20-point lead (they won’t), then the miss is going to get even funnier. Which you’d think would be impossible, but probably not as impossible as that miss in the first place.


The non-goal has also reopened, and perhaps closed, the “greatest miss of all time” debate. After all, most of the rest of the competitors — RamiresRonnie Rosenthal, some other players whose names don’t begin with “R” — had to contend with a ball that was doing something, however benign.


This one is stationary. It is on the goal-line. There is no physical way it could be any closer to being a goal, and the only way it could be any easier is if it had already gone into the net. Never has it been so true to say: all he has to do is touch it ...



... to add foot to ball, which is literally how the English came up with the name of the sport ...

... and he scores. But he doesn’t.


But as well as costing PSG the title (for at least a week) and winning himself one of football’s noblest prizes, Choupo-Moting achieved something else with his moment of maladroit magic. Something special. Something transcendent.


Football is often compared to religion. Generally, this analogy is deployed to explain the fervour of those who follow it: the shouting, swaying masses, powered by faith, dreaming of the promised land. And that kind of holds up, as long as you don’t get too deep into what a tricky away day for Methodism might look like.


But perhaps there are other points of comparison. There is grace to be found on a football pitch, moments of beauty beyond the sensible and the quotidian. There is community, and togetherness. You even get people standing and singing together, which doesn’t happen in enough places. More singing, people.


Yet going further, perhaps in Choupo-Moting we have found somebody around whom we can build an entire way of living. Consider the magnitude of what he’s done. This is, as noted above, almost certainly the easiest possible goal to score. A non-moving ball, sat on the goalline.


And though Choupo-Moting isn’t one of the absolute best players in the world, he is a professional football for Paris Saint-Germain. We can assume, then, that he is capable of touching the ball every now and then.


But he doesn’t.


In that failure lies this message: even the extremely competent, when presented with the absolutely un-cockupable, can sometimes get it wrong. Failure is always, always possible.


And in that message lies absolution for ... well, everybody. Got something wrong? It’s OK. Choupo-Moting missed that chance. Made a huge mistake at work? Choupo-Moting.


Utterly unable to even contemplate attempting to navigate the multivarious hells of modern living, as the human race enthusiastically consumes the very planet it needs to survive? TN gets that. But you know, it could be worse. Choupo-Moting.


We have found the most perfect failure possible. He has shown us the bottom of the barrel, and he has taken it unto himself. He died — crucified in public, humiliated, and mocked by all around him — so we might live.



Nkwain Jude Romeo Song

CEO / Founder  |


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