Massimo Taibi is a name synonymous with mistakes and rightly so after his nightmare spell at Manchester United.
The Italian goalkeeper was named in a Man United squad just 8 times and played only 4 games but his impact is one that will never be forgotten.
Signed in August 1999 for £4.5m from Venezia, he was the latest in a line of keepers it was hoped that could replace Peter Schmeichel and in his debut he showed glimpses of his promise as he was handed the man of the match award against Liverpool. Despite the award alarm bells must have gone off at United as his debut was far from perfect clapping at a free kick that allowed Sami Hyypiä to score for Liverpool. That was an early indication of what was to come as 2 weeks later in a game against Southampton he committed a gaff that should be present on every blooper video ever made.
With United leading 2-1 at Old Trafford, it was thought the points were safe as United were cruising but Taibi allowed a weak Matt Le Tissier’s scuffed a 25-yard shot to worm underneath his body into the net. The strike was so poor that Le Tissier himself had turned away in disgust but he was soon celebrating as the goal handed Southampton their first point at Old Trafford in 10 games.
It couldn’t possibly get worse could it? Oh it did and in the following game he conceded 5 against Chelsea, one of only 3 occasions in the past 25 years that United have beaten so heavily.
This was the final act in his Old Trafford career and he never played for United again only names as a sub before being sent on loan to Reggina before making the move permanent in August 2000.
Taibi remained at Reggina until 2001 but in April of that year he joined former Juventus goalkeeper Michelangelo Rampulla in being the only goalkeepers to score in Serie A.
Since leaving Reggina, Taibi played for Atalanta for 4 years and Torino for 2 before settling at Serie B’s Ascoli.
Now at the ripe age of 39 he has hung his gloves and is lending a hand helping coaching at his home town team of Palermo but his spell at United will always be remembered the way Nayim is for his goal from the half way line. It’s is a monkey on his back that no number of great appearances will be able to dislodge (and rightly so)!