The greatest save in football history? Gregory Coupet for Lyon vs Barcelona | OneFootball

The greatest save in football history? Gregory Coupet for Lyon vs Barcelona

Logo: GiveMeSport


Gregory Coupet was a seriously good goalkeeper in his heyday.

The now 48-year-old represented France on 34 occasions and was a key part of the Lyon squad that famously won seven Ligue 1 titles in a row, beginning in 2001/02.

Coupet made 519 appearances for Les Gones during his trophy-filled 11 years at the club and kept 204 clean sheets in that time.

Not bad, Gregory.

As well as keeping clean sheets at a rate of one every two-and-a-half games, Coupet made arguably the greatest save in history while wearing Lyon's jersey.

In the 2001/02 season, when the French outfit's era of domestic dominance commenced, the team were drawn against Barcelona in the Champions League group stage.

Les Gones sadly lost their fixture at Camp Nou 2-0 thanks to goals from Patrick Kluivert and Rivaldo, but in that game, Coupet produced a save that still defies description to this very day.

With the scores level at 0-0, the goalkeeper received a terrible lofted back pass on the stretch from teammate Claudio Cacapa.

It looked certain that a comical own-goal would be the outcome, particularly as Coupet was unable to use his hands to prevent the ball from crossing the line.

But the Frenchman had a trick up his sleeve; the diving header.

Coupet leapt into the air like a salmon and sent the ball crashing into the crossbar, before getting back to his feet in a millisecond to thwart Rivaldo's headed effort with the most incredible point-blank save.

The footage below will always blow our minds...

Video: Coupet's incredible save vs Barcelona

A display of goalkeeping genius that we will probably never see repeated at the very highest level of the professional game.

To even consider performing a diving header - a notoriously hard move to pull off - is one thing, but to do it successfully and then produce a world-class save straight after is something worthy of a Hollywood movie.

Is it the best save in footballing history? We can't think of any that can lay claim to being superior, that's for sure.

1 of 15

Who moved from Barcelona to Real Madrid in 2000?

Luis Enrique Luis Figo Javier Saviola Cristiano Ronaldo

Mentioned in this article
View publisher imprint