All Downhill From Here: 8 Players Whose Careers Spiralled After One Big Mistake

With Loris Karius seemingly at a particularly delicate point in his career, it seems as though the costly mistakes he made in the 2018 Champions League final for Liverpool may end up defining his career.


It wouldn't be the first time it happens, nor will it be the last. Catastrophic mistakes can take their toll on players and if they aren't mentally strong enough to deal with the consequences the mistake can have, then they'll end up being remembered for nothing else.


Here are eight players whose careers took a downward spiral immediately after they made a costly mistake. Look away now Loris...

8. Jens Grahl

Jens Grahl was once thought of as a hot prospect in Germany, potentially capable of challenging for a spot in the national team - no mean feat when you're a goalkeeper.


However, things haven't turned out quite as planned for the 29-year-old. His downward spiral began in 2013 when he made a bizarre mistake against Borussia Dortmund. First he dropped a routine cross and then stared at the ball instead of diving on it, giving Dortmund the chance to poke it towards goal.


Grahl now spends his time on the bench at Stuttgart and hasn't made a professional appearance since 2016.

7. Rob Green

As soon as Clint Dempsey's remarkably tame long range effort managed to slither through Rob Green's gloves, things took a turn for the worse for the then-West Ham keeper.


Green's mistake was awful and he took to the full blame for the fact that England were only able to muster a draw in their 2010 World Cup opener against the USA - despite the fact that the other ten players on the pitch didn't exactly cover themselves in glory either.


Constantly reminded by football fans up and down the country that all he had to do was simply put his hands behind the ball, Green only ever played once more for England in a friendly against Norway in 2012.

6. Djimi Traore

'He just can't, he just can't, he just can't control his feet!'


Liverpool had a fitting chant for Djimi Traore, who spent the majority of his time at Anfield stumbling over both himself and the ball.


His worst moment in a red shirt came during an FA Cup third round defeat to Burnley, where the left-back managed to backheel the ball into his own net with no-one around him and all the time in world.


Somehow, Traore managed to get in the starting lineup for the 2005 Champions League final for Liverpool and his antics did earn him cult hero status - even if he never got any better after the mistake.

5. Fernando Torres

Fernando Torres wasn't enjoying the best of times at Chelsea to say the least, but things managed to get a whole lot worse for him after his catastrophic miss against Manchester United in 2011.


The Spaniard skipped gracefully beyond David de Gea in the United goal and then panicked when confronted with the empty goal in front of him. Torres slashed his shot wide, presumably to the amusement of Liverpool fans.


Torres couldn't ever get going at Chelsea and he was never able to hit double figures for goals during any of the seasons he spent at Stamford Bridge.

4. Massimo Taibi

When Peter Schmeichel departed Manchester United in 1999, it was going to take one hell of a goalkeeper to replace him.


Massimo Taibi was identified as that man, but the optimism surrounding the Italian was very short-lived. On his debut against Southampton he managed to let a pea roller from Matt Le Tissier comically pop through his legs, a mistake he blamed on his studs being too short.


Another mistake against Chelsea the following week meant that his Manchester United career was all but over before he even got a chance to settle.

3. Ronny Rosenthal

Ronny Rosenthal is a name remembered for just one moment in his career and, surprise surprise, it was an absolutely dreadful miss.


Following a long ball over the defence, Rosenthal, then playing for Liverpool, rounded the goalkeeper before delicately lifting the ball against the bar instead of into the back of the net. It's a miss that has gone on to feature on a whole host of blooper DVDs, and for good reason. It was a truly dreadful miss.


Following the miss, Rosenthal only managed to score ten more goals in the following five seasons he spent as a professional footballer.

2. Felipe Melo

Filling the role as Brazil's midfield general, Felipe Melo was at the peak of his powers coming into the 2010 World Cup having come off the back of a stellar season with Juventus.


However, in Brazil's quarter final against Holland, Melo had a stinker. First he managed to ignore the call from his goalkeeper Julio Cesar and headed the ball beyond the hapless keeper and into his own net and then, with Brazil trailing 2-1, Melo got himself sent off for a stamp on Arjen Robben - two mistakes for the price of one.


Melo never played for Brazil again and despite enjoying a decent time in Turkey with Galatasaray, he was never quite the same player.

1. Jonathan Woodgate

There have been plenty of players that haven't quite fitted in at Real Madrid, but none more so than Jonathan Woodgate.


The English defender was going to be the greatest centre-back since the days of Bobby More and after a stellar start to his career with Leeds and Newcastle, he made the biggest move any footballer can make and went out to join Real Madrid in 2005.


It was a disaster for Woodgate and his debut set the tone for his rapid decline. He scored an own goal and was sent off in front of his home supporters, who were probably wondering what on earth they had just invested in.


Woodgate struggled with fitness throughout the rest of his career, but whenever he was on the pitch he looked a shadow of his former self. Just eight caps for England during his career tells everything you need to know.